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1837 Quasquicentennial 1962
Salute Marie., SaUtt Ma>ui r 6. GnuAalt
SauUe Matde. *1&uMiAlwp,
Pieoinoti 1 ana 2
JASPER COUNTY, ILLINOIS
Celebrating: Sept 1, 2, 3, 1962
1837 Quasquicentennial 1962
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SeeAAetUf&od tyust&uU <Jlo*n&
J. HARLIN SEESSENGOOD
(Served Jasper County with Reese Service sinee 19S2.)
Our aim is to be worthy of your friendship!
AU Latest Safety Measures
1837 Quasquicentennial 1962
ILLINOIS HISTORICAL aUBFBT
Sointe Maiie, Saint Ma/ui'4, GUuSudt
PtecinaU 1 and 2
JASPER COUNTY, ILLINOIS
Celebrating Sept. 1, 2, 3, 1962
1837 Quasquicentennial 1962
Drawing of Sainte Marie's First Cabin
This is a photograph of a drawing of the first cabin
ever built in Sainte Marie. The original drawing, made
by Joseph Picquet in October, 1837, with a quill pen, is
owned by his granddaughter, Mrs. Charlotte R. Rudd of
Men at work on the cabin are designated by initials,
scarcely visible in this reproduction, but easily recognized
on the original drawing. Men on the ground in the fore-
ground of the picture are, left to right, John Weiss, Jean
Baptist Bernard and Joseph Picquet, the artist himself.
On the roof is Chailcs Gutkneck. At the far right,
seated on a horse, is Xavier Kapp. The figure atop tho
load of hay was not identified.
In the hearts of all who love the Village of Sainte
Marie, Sainte Marie Township and Jasper County, thr-
picture is indeed a priceless treasure.
77 7, 3 7^
_ZZ^/ ^ /sr * ^^ £i/ '
Sainte Marie, Saint Mary's Church and
Sainte Marie Township
DEAR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS:
This summer of 1962 over Labor Day week-end, Sept.
1, 2 and 3, Sainte Marie, Sainte Mary's Church and Sainte
Marie Township will proudly celebrate their 125th birth-
day. In this historical booklet we will try to recount the
beginning of the little colony, and the dedication of the
town and Church to the Blessed Virgin Mary. We shall
try, too, to give credit to all the good and fine people
whose families have lived here for generations.
Several hundred people are working generously and
feverishly to make this Quasqui-centennial of our com-
munity a milestone in our history. Some have ridiculed
the idea of writing our history, but history is important.
[lad not our pioneer fore-fathers written down the hap-
pening ;s of their days, we would have no United States
history today. Hud not Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
written down the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, we
would not have the greatest history of all, the Holy Bible.
Since the celebration plans have begun, enthusiasm
has mounted with each meeting, more plans are included
until we are getting a little excited! Will everything go
off all right? We tell ourselves and each other "we will
weather the storm" and have a lot of fun, too.
The Dedication of Our Lady's Colony
ADELA STEVENS CODY
The prairies gleam like burnished gold; the swamplands
"With all the gorgeous splendor of the rich October days,
[ The hazel bushes rustle as a fox goes swiftly by
N When from the river's cottonwoods he hears the panther
■The tawny deer pause at the stream, their scarlet nostrils
As, slowly o'er the swelling ridge, they see gay horsemen
The stealthy Indian drops his bow and looks with
At these strange people come to dwell beneath his native
He sees them pause upon the ridge, and then, dismounting,
His horse's rein thrown o'er each arm, each trusty gun in
He sees their brave apparel gleam, each buckle burnished
Perchance a medal here and there, reflecting heaven's
What draws this band of young men here? The Indian
does not know
The speech that tells of home, of love, and friends left
They speak of scenes now far away; of Mass and feast
And homesick longings draw their hearts back to their
Yea — home and friends are far away but she, their Queen,
This unknown land to loyal knights but makes her seem
"Salve Regina"! Strong and clear their blended voices
"Regina Coeli"! With what zest their favorite hymn they
No fear have they of lurking foes as, kneeling on that
They offer up, through Mary's hands, their hopes and
fears to God.
"The truce of God" surrounds them there and wild things
As, trustingly, at Mary's feet their lives and souls they
SAINTE MARIE AMERICAN LEGION
SAINTE MARIE, ILLINOIS
"FOR GOD AND COUNTRY"
War Veterans of W. W. I, W. W. II, ami the Korean Conflict, Who Still Continue to
Serve the Community, State and Nation, Are Proud to Be a Part of the Community Life
of Sainte Marie and to Help in the Celebration of the Quasquicentennial (125th Annivers-
ary) of the Village and of St. Mary's Parish.
1962 Is An All-Time High Year For The Post In Membership With 151 Paid Up
Members, And We Still Expect To Grow!
This Book, "History of Sainte Marie,
Village and Township," is
Sincerely Dedicated to:
All the good and fine people who at any time belonged
to the Parish of Saint Mary of Assumption, to St. Valen-
tine, and to all whomever called Sainte Marie township
How This AU Began
Along in June of 1957, while looking through my
scrapbooks for a picture of the house where Christopher
Columbus was born, I came across a clipping from The
Newton Press. The story was one I had written and sent
to The Press when Sainte Marie was 100 years old. Look-
ing at the date and making some swift calculations, I
came up with the astounding fact, that on Oct. 28, 1957,
Sainte Marie and Saint Mary's Church would both be 120
That afternoon I had an appointment at the La Vogue
Beauty Shop. The operator, Blanche Chapman was a
protege of a daughter of the Picquets, settlers of Sainte
Marie, and I told her about finding the clipping, and how
our town and Church were coming into their 125th birth-
day. I remarked something should be written up and
sent in to the county paper. "You're just the woman to
do it, Mrs. Hartrich," said Blanche.
Well, I thought I could, my mind on a column per-
haps six or eight inches long. That evening, her week's
work finished, Blanche packed a bag, got into her car,
drove to Evansville, Ind., to see Mrs. Charlotte Rude and
her family, sole survivors of the pioneer Joseph Picquet.
When Blanche told Mrs. Rudd why she had come,
Mrs. Rudd remarked: "Well, Blanche, we will just go up
into the garret and see what we can find on Sainte Marie's
History". Their search was fruitful indeed!
On Monday morning Blanche came into my house
carrying a huge shopping bag, crammed to the top with
old books, newspapers, bits of written history and old
pictures, no less than a million words. I was to read all
of it, sort out what was good, pass over the non-essentials
and write up a really good history of Sainte Marie.
I started looking through the material and it wasn't
long before I was really intrigued with it. I wrote several
pages, then I thought: "I could crack my brain on it,
but what good would it do if it was never printed". I
called Mr. Jim Wells of The Newton Press and told him
about it. "I tell you what you do Mrs. Hartrich, send in
what you have written, and I'll let you know what I think
of it," he said.
Six pages were sent in the next afternoon and I re-
ceived an excited telephone call, "This is wondrful, go into
more detail about the history. If there is enough we will
make a special edition of it to print it in; but don't make
too much noise about it, we don't want that Decatur
Herald getting in on this."
For seven weeks, every hour I could spare was spent
looking into County Court House records; into the records
at the Church, school and town hall here in Sainte Marie;
talking to people who didn't want to be bothered, scraping
moss from old tombstones in the cemetery, wading
through old musty books and newspapers, getting black
looks from my husband who thought there should be roast
chicken and custard pies on the table, instead of old books,
papers, scrap paper and worn down pencils.
But at last it was finished. It did make a fine story
when it was put into a special edition in The Newton
Press. All the tired days, all the digging, all the head-
aches and black looks were forgotten when Ye editor said
to me "Mrs. Hartrich this history will never be forgotten."
— Mrs. Ferdinand Hartrich
nee Mary Clotilde Huber.
The following was taken from a book, entitled "His-
tory of Cumberland, Jasper and Richland Counties," which
is kept at the Newton Library:
In 1838 Joseph Picquet of Sainte Marie started the
first store, bringing the goods from Philadelphia via
Evansville, and thence by wagon. Goods were purchased
at Evansville or Louisville, then wagoned across the coun-
try save when the stage of water and the plying of steam-
boats allowed a shipment by river to Vincennes. The cost
of freighting goods was one cent per one-hunderd weight,
amounting to about $1.25 for land transportation. The
early trade was principally barter, skins and honey being
the principal articles the farmer had for exchange. Game
was abundant and the timber swarmed with the honey-
bee. The latter was systematically hunted, and the honey
brought into the store by the wagon-load.
In 1839 Mr. Picquet put up the first steam sawmill
in the county, buying the machinery second-hand but
little-used near Vincennes. A grist mill was added. The
Hartrichs' were millers, (that is grinders of grain in their
home-land in France) and they knew all about making
flour and meal. This machinery was purchased at Pitts-
burgh, Pa. This was the first steam grist mill in all this
region and attracted patronage from an area of 40 miles
away. People came from as far away as Teutopolis to
have their grain ground into flour and meal.
For years Sainte Marie was the commercial metrop-
olis of Jasper County and in its early years bid fair to
hold this position for all time. The founders were wealthy,
and natural advantages good, and their early enterprise
kept pace with the development of the County.
Its most striking buildings are a Catholic Church of
brick, built in 1850 with parsonage, and an establishment
of Sisters of Charity, who devote their time to the nursing
of the sick, raising of orphans and taking care of old
The school house, one of the first if not the very first
free school building erected in Jasper County, has been
for the last 10 years under the able direction of Prof.
George Hubert of Evansville, a noted teacher of our
The Church and school are well attended. The prin-
cipal businesses of the place are a sawmill, a stave factory,
which furnishes employment of 25 to 30 hands, two gen-
eral stores, two grocery stores, one hardware store, a tin
shop, one seed store, two blacksmith shops, a wagon shop,
three carpenters, three shoe-makers, one cooper and one
An excerpt from The Newton Press, issue dated
March 27, 1957, reads as follows:
"Jasper, Newton Named for Heroes of Revolution"
Jasper county was originally in 1816 a part of Craw-
ford county, which at that time comprised all territory
between the Wabash and Kaskaskia rivers, and from its
present southern boundary to "the northern limit of the
Sainte Marie, Saint Mary's Parish
and Sainte Marie Township
On This, Their
One Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Birthday
MRS. CHARLES D. RUDD AND FAMILY
(Mrs. lturiri is n granddaughter of Pioneer Joseph Picquet.)
But in 1831 the State Legislature, which had been
dividing the giant Crawford County area into smaller
counties, formed what is now Jasper County, calling it
by that name and also declaring that its county seat,
whenever selected by Commissioners Nathan Moss, Wil-
liam Magill and Asahel Heath, would be called Newton.
These names were selected in honor of two South
Carolinian hereos of the Revolutionary War under General
An early Jasper settler, Michael Grove, who settled
there in 1836, has chronicled that the first settler in what
is now Jasper County was a man named Lewis who set-
tled on Evermound Mound. He added, "The next settler
was a man by the name of Sulzer, who settled in what
was later called Mattingly Point below Sainte Marie,"
what is now known as Valbert Bros.' homestead.
Soon after, others came, some in the Dark Bend, the
Enlows, Crabtree, Wilkens, Bayards, Jobs, Jordans, Gar-
woods, Lambs, Richards and the Wades, founded in 1826
when James Jordan and his family settled and built the
first cabin (near the north side of the present court house) .
Among others who came early were John V. Barnes, Ben-
jamin Reynolds and L. W. Jordan, who entered the land
in 1831 where the village was originally laid out, Law-
rence Hollenbeck, Thomas Garwood and Benjamin Harris,
who opened the first store in Newton.
Newton existed as a non-incorporated village until
1865 when it received its state incorporation charter.
Sainte Marie was settled originally by Joseph Picquet,
coming as an immigrant from Alsace, picked the spot for
his homestead in 1836, returned home and came back in
1837 to Sainte Marie with four families and 12 young
people, a total of 25 people, after purchasing 12,000 acres
in Jasper County. The group, a Catholic colony, a condi-
tion which remains today, placed their tabernacle on the
site of Sainte Marie.
A number of communities have been started in Jasper
County but many of them, like in all areas, have gone out
of existence. How many can be recalled ? Mount Sidney,
Grandville (now Yale), Brockville, Buena Vista, Center-
ville, Plainfield, Harrisburg, Queenstown, Franklin, Con-
stantinople, New Liberty, Pleasant Hill, Point Pleasant,
Hayville, Embarrasville, Langdon, Hunt City, Hidalgo,
Falmouth, Latona, Mason (now Wheeler), Lis, Boos,
Bogota, Advance, Willow Hill, Rose Hill and West Liber-
ty, which was laid out in 1954 and later moved to the
railroad line in 1877 where it is now a fine little
The early Jasper pioneers, mostly from Kentucky and
southern states, used a path called the Palestine-Vandalia
road in the earliest days, but the county grew very little
until the completion of the railroad, now the Illinois
Central (planned and fought for since the mid-50's but
not completed through the county until 1876.) Since
then, it has developed into an outstanding agricultural
and oil-producing area and a progressive and highly suc-
cessful community with fine institutions, homes and
citizens rivaling any county in the Midwest.
Saints Marie Township
Sainte Marie Township in the southeast portion of
Jasper County, formerly Crawford County, was a part
of the western portion of Crawford County. Early in the
1830's it was taken off from Crawford to prevent the
removal of the county seat from Palestine, but this did not
prevent it from happening, because on Aug. 14, 1855, the
County Seat was moved from Palestine to Robinson, 111.
Sainte Marie Township was now large enough to be
divided into two precincts. Precinct one was where the
Village of Sainte Marie was, and was named for it, Sainte
Marie precinct one is west of both the Embarras and
Northfork Rivers; precinct two, east of both these rivers
and is called the Bend.
We will first tell the story of the Village of Sainte
Marie and Saint Mary's Church, and farther on, the story
of Precinct two, the community known as the Bend. So
many interesting things have happened in our township
and Village, I feel the History of Sainte Marie should be
re-written. Using the past history written in 1957 as the
back-bone of the story, I'll try to write an addition.
Sainte Marie Village and Precinct One
To me history is important. At the time of the Pales-
tine Sesqui-Centennial, several ladies came to see me.
They had heard Sainte Marie was planning to celebrate
their 125th anniversary this year. In talking of their
celebration, they told me "they had so little to go on".
So few of the happenings of their town had been written
down. One remarked "She believed Catholics kept better
records than other denominations". It would seem so
here in Sainte Marie. Not only at the Church, but the
people themselves wrote down things, so we have quite
a story for a background.
In their book on Palestine was one sentence, "Just
when does a town have a beginning ? When can you start
Keeping dates?" Well, we here in Sainte Marie can
definitely say when our town began. When those 10 old
French gentlemen came to the United States from France
they came with certainty they were going to start a
village, or colony as it was then called. First they built
a cabin as shelter for themselves. On Oct. 28, 1837,
dressed in their best, the colonists mounted their horses
and with guns in hand rode to the highest knoll. Here
they gathered about their leader, fired a salute, and
chanted the Salve Regina, "Hail Queen," and with all the
ceremony of an 18th Century Lafayette, took formal
possession of their land, placed it under the protection of
the Virgin Mary and named it "Colonie des Fres", Colony
of Brothers. So many otner colonists came in who were
not brothers, it was changed to Saint Mary's. Down
through the years it became Sainte Marie.
The history of Sainte Marie is colorful and interest-
ing. Sainte Marie is an industrious, prosperous, thrifty
and progressive village in the southeast part of Jasper
County. Histories, at best, are often considered dry
reading, but so many people have been born and reared
in or near Sainte Marie, then have gone out into the
world to make their way that we hope many of them will
see and read this, and will feci a small sense of pride in
having belonged at some time to the parish of Sainte
Marie. To tell the story of Sainte Marie Township is to
tell the story of its Church because then, as now, the
Church was the center and heart of the community.
On Oct. 28, 1962, Sainte Marie will become 125 years
old. Already in 1835 oppression and unrest were going
on in Europe. A group of people in Hagunem, Alsace
Lorraine, France, who believed in being free and equal
and the right to worship as they pleased, held a family
counsel and decided to send someone to that fine new
country across the sea, America. These people were
well-to-do, upper middle class, most of them farmers,
Welcome To The Quasquicentennial
Enjoy Yourself and Say— "PEPSI PLEASE!"
At Home or When Eating Out, Enjoy
Heath Grade A Milk and Other Dairy
Foods and Candy of Excellence.
L. S. HEATH & SONS, INC.
COMPLIMENTS OF BEER WHOLESALERS
REGION NO. 1
Ambravv Distributing Co.
Halter Distributing Co.
Dishong Distributing Co.
Gray Distributing Co.
Rankin Distributing Co.
most of them relatives and all of the Roman Catholic
Joseph Picquet First
Joseph Picquet, age 19, was the one chosen to go. Small
of stature but great of determination, he set sail. He was
accompanied by a young Jesuit priest, Rev. Michael Guth,
for at the age of 19 years, he was considered too young to
travel alone. No more mention was made of his tutor
once they had landed in New York. Mr. Picquet then
came west to Pittsburgh, where he worked for awhile in
a land office to study the language and habits of this new
country. Stretching westward was a thousand miles of
territory which he must investigate. He was particularly
interested in the countiy north and west of the Ohio river
and east of the Mississippi river. St. Louis was the
extreme western boundary in which he was interested.
Arriving in Fort Dearborn, which is now Chicago, he
decided it was too swampy there so he procured a riding
horse and rode downstate. He spent a year collecting
material which he incorporated into a report. In October,
1836, he returned to France and another family counsel
was held. His family, on hearing the report, was jubilant.
He told of virgin timber, a river, rich, rolling country,
much like the home place in France, and they were ready
to go. In July, 1837, he returned to America with the
nucleus of the new colony, made up of 4 'families and 12
young people, 25 adventurous souls.
Other Early Names
Besides Joseph Picquet were the names of Ferdinand
Hartrich, Charles Guthneck, Jean Baptiste Bernard,
Xavier Kapp, John Weiss and wife, Xavier Hipp, Henry
Hoffman, M. Lemmel, Etienne Laver, Barbara and
Frances Orr. They went to Vincennes, Ind., and from
there to St. Francisville, where they purchased a small
farm to be used as a temporary shelter until they could
select a permanent place.
On Sept. 22, 1837, Joseph Picquet, Ferdinand Hartrich
and Etienne Laver went to Palestine, 111., where they
entered 12,000 acres of land. This land lay south and
east of Newton, 111., which was two years old, with two
cabins. This land met their requirements and they re-
turned to St. Francisville.
Rt. Rev. Bishop Brute of Vincennes, accompanied by
Father Corbe, pastor at St. Francisville, came to visit the
colonists at their farm. In front of one of the log houses
they erected an altar so that the Bishop could celebrate
Mass. The crucifix, candle sticks and vestments used
were brought from France and are still in use in the
Church in Sainte Marie.
Arrived Oct. 1, 1837
On Oct. 1, 1837, the little colony came to Sainte Marie
to settle. They set to work building a cabin which was
to be the center of the village. All being farmers and not
woodsmen, instead of using their horses or oxen to drag
the logs, they carried them. The first Mass said in the
village was in this cabin. It was blessed by Father
Stephen Theodore Badin, a Frenchman, the first priest
ordained in the United States.
A Mr. William Price had a cabin on a few acres of
land near here and the men boarded with him. The
French traders would come each fall from Vincennes to
barter with the Indians for their peltry. The Indians were
from the Fort Wayne, Ind., reservation. They came each
fall to hunt for the abundance of game in the Embarras
River bottoms. On one such expedition the Embarras
rose so suddenly the Indians were trapped in the back
water and had to take refuge for three days in the trees,
an incident which amused the colonists greatly. Another
story of the river's name was that there was so much
driftwood stumps and tree tops in the river that the
French called it Embarras — meaning obstructions.
Story of River's Nam©
A story says that the unusual name of Embarras was
given the river when a young French guide, proud of his
appointment, was asked the name of the river running
through the territory for which he was acting as a guide.
He did not know it, became so embarrassed his superior
officer leaned over and laughingly wrote on the map
"Embarras River". The Indians, unable to say Embarras,
called it the Ambraw.
(Editor's Note: All such legends are interesting, but
the truth about the river's name is simply that Embarras,
correctly spelled with only one "s" on the end, means
obstruction in French. Research on the word was done
a couple of years ago by Mr. Omer M. Tobias of Newton,
111., retired teacher and principal of Newton Community
High School, at the request of The Newton Press-Mentor
and local leaders of the Wabash Valley Association. Mr.
Tobias' studies also led to the correct way to pronounce
the river's name. Embarras should be pronounced as if
it were spelled Ahmberah.)
During the winter of 1839 Fr. Corbe of Vincennes
came to visit the little colony and to care for their spirit-
ual needs. The distance was covered by horse-back, so
he was asked to stay for the night. The guest room was
nothing more than a lean-to built of poles with prairie
hay stuffed into the cracks. The good father awakened
in the morning with the bitter cold blowing over him.
During the night the cows had eaten the hay out of the
Others Arrive in 1839
In 1839 new members came to join the colony. We
find the names of Theodore Hartrich, Joseph Litzelman,
Joseph Boos, Cyrise Kaufmann, Nicholas Kessler, Faller
Bros, and Ignatius Moshenrose. Among those in the
neighborhood were William Price, Israile Fithian, Job
Catt, Freeman Bros., Mattingly Bros., E. Inlow, Daniel
Doty and I. Allison. This Theodore Hartrich is the an-
cestor of all the Hartrichs' now living in Sainte Marie.
In 1842, Jacques Picquet, father of Joseph Picquet,
came to the United States, bringing with him a nephew,
Joseph Schefferstine. He was delighted with the progress
the young colonist had made, so in 1844 Joseph Picquet
went again to France, bringing with him on his return
his mother and two young brothers, James and Xavier,
who later became Dr. James Picquet and Lieutenant
Xavier Picquet of the Civil War.
The Sisters of Providence, Rennes, France, were en-
gaged by Mr. Picquet to come to Sainte Marie to teach
school but instead of coming to this backwoods, they
settled in what is now St. Mary's of the Woods, Vigo
County, Indiana. When the Sisters of Providence of
Rennes, France, arrived in Vincennes, Ind., Bishop De La
Hollandier decided they should locate in what is now St.
Mary of the Woods in Indiana. When the diocese was
divided by the state line, they were in Indiana.
HARTRICH BROS. FEED & GRAIN
Funk's G Hybrids
Grinding and Mixing
Sainte Marie, III.
Sainte Marie, 111.
Wine, Liquor and Beer
Always a Friendly Welcome!
Jacques Picquet Brick House in 1844
In 1844 a brick house that could be rightly called a
mansion was built in Sainte Marie by Jacques or James
Picquet Sr. The bricks were moulded and burned in a
brick kiln on the premises. The huge doors and windows
were sent from France to the Sisters of Providence, who
were supposedly located in Sainte Marie but located in-
stead in what is now st. Mary's of the Woods. They were
then used in the Picquet mansion. The interior woodwork
and paneling were or native walnut. It was considered at
that time to be tne finest house all the way from Chicago
to St. Louis. At this time the whole Picquet family lived
About five years ago the two top stories were taken
down by the present owners, Albert and Harold Hartrich,
gi*eat grand nephews of the builder, Jacques Picquet. The
first floor of the old mansion is still in use. The village
grew and prospered. Forests were cleared away, farms
came into being. The people were proud of the fine live-
stock they could raise the grain and gardens they could
Water and Wagon Route
A general store was started by Joseph Picquet. The
goods were brought all the way from Pittsburgh, Pa., by
steamboat to Evansville, Ind., then by wagon to Sainte
Marie. A grist mill was in operation, farmers coming
from as far as Teutopolis to have their grain ground,
their wheat into flour and their corn into meal.
Pete Faller, assisted by two sons, Clem and Pete, had
a tannery yard located on the river east of Sainte Marie.
The tannic acid found in the bark of the oak trees was
used as a processing agent to separate the hair from the
The original house of the Fallers is still occupied.
Mr. and Mrs. Loren Bricker own and live in it. The Dr.
James Picquet house was taken down two years ago by
Mr. and Mrs. Coelestin Nix, who have since built a lovely
home on that site. Only three names of the founding
fathers remain in Sainte Marie, James Picquet, grandson
of Jacques Picquet, James Hipp, grandson of Xavier Hipp,
and seven Hartrich families, all descendants of Theodore
Men of Area Built Railroad; Loss
Was Severe Blow, But Not Fatal
At the time Jasper County was surveyed and county
lines were established it was planned for Sainte Marie to
be the county seat, but the laying of the railroad through
Newton made that the most important village. In 1870
a railroad was laid through Sainte Marie, the C, H. & D.
The men of the village and surrounding community
worked long hours placing the ties and laying the heavy
rails, all without pay just to get the railroad through
their village. Huge shipments of logs, lumber, livestock
and grain justified their efforts. There were two passen-
ger trains and two freight trains daily.
The passenger train came from Olney at 8:20 A. M.
and went south at 4:20 P. M. As in most small towns
and villages it became a favorite pastime to go to the
depot to see the trains come in. The railroad ran north
and south, just west of where the Parish hall now stands.
Of course, with all the shipping of livestock, corn, wheat
and hay, there was always a string of box cars on the
track waiting to be used. Here was an ideal place for the
boys in school to settle their disputes. They didn't dare
fight on the school grounds so "I'll meet you down behind
the box cars" became a familiar phrase. More than one
grade school boy went home with a black eye or a bloody
nose. Remembering about it now makes one whoop with
laughter, but at that time it was deadly serious business.
The depot, too, was an intriguing place, so many
interesting packages and boxes. This was before R.F.D.,
Rural Free Delivery, so almost everything too large for
a mail box had to come by express. The "Wish Books"
like those of Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward did
a thriving business. The waiting room had a huge iron
pot-bellied stove, and on a cold day it usually glowed red
with all the hickory chunks poked into it. We kids stood
fascinated as the express agent tapped a few little keys,
then told us the message they sent. We thought him one
of the most learned people in the world, to be able to
work a Morse code telegraph machine.
Years passed, World War I was raging, many of the
young men were away in the armed forces, not much
shipping was done along the line, steel was badly needed
and the railroad which their ancestors had worked so
hard to help build was taken up.
The people of the community mourned the passing of
the railroad. Depression was over the whole country, and
Sainte Marie, like so many other small towns, sort of
went to seed.
Again years passed and a second World War came.
More young men than ever were in the armed forces.
Those left behind worked twice as hard to do their share
and that of those away.
Veterans Add Life
When the war was over and the young men returned,
it seemed that the whole community took a new lease on
life. The young soldiers, weary of far-away places, took
over farms, built new homes or made over old ones, fer-
tilized the fields, grew better crops and livestock than
their ancestors dreamed of. Others built homes in town,
found work or went into business for themselves. No
longeT did they mourn the railroad. They took pride in
a paved road running west to join State Route 130 and a
blacktop road north to Route 49 where trucks could roll
at a moment's notice.
Alblinger and Kirts built a new garage, then a hard-
ware store. Both are outstanding in their lines. Tractors,
plows, discs, corn pickers and combines were in demand.
The Hamer Stone Implement Co. was established and
began doing a thriving business, now known as the Kocher
The old Spitzer blacksmith shop, where the farmers
liked to gather on cold or rainy days to talk crops or live-
stock, while thousands of plow shears were sharpened and
hundreds of horses were shod, is no more. Hartrich Bros,
elevator and feed mill has taken over the corner.
At the north end of town Gowin's feed mill is doing
a thriving business, and Bob Swisher's new filling station
is a delight to the eye.
The new school is still very modern, a new parish
house came next and the parish hall was completely done
First Priest Ordained in U. S.
Sometime ago while talking about our 125th celebra-
tion of Sainte Marie and Sainte Mary's Church, someone
remarked "I don't see how you can get so steamed up
about little old dinky Sainte Marie". Suppose we stop
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for a moment, and take a good look at "how dinky Sainte
When once those old French gentlemen had a little
cabin built for a Church, they invited a missionary from
Vincennes to come and bless it and read the first Mass
there. Father Stephen Theodore Badin was the one who
came. Father Badin was the first priest ordained in the
United States. Archbishop Carroll of Baltimore, Md.,
ordained him. Bishop Carroll's cousin, Charles Carroll,
signed the Declaration of Independence.
Sainte Marie had the first Church and first free
school for miles around. People came from five counties
around to have their children baptized. Sainte Marie had
the first store, first post office and the first grist mill.
People came from as far away as Teutopolis to have their
wheat ground into flour, and corn into meal. The first
sawmil) was also here.
When those three old gentlemen, Joseph Picquet,
Ferdinand Hartrich and Etienne Laver, went to Palestine
to buy their 12,000 acres, after trying to describe just
where this land lay, the recorder told them "Everything
is open, you can buy land all the way to the Canadian
border". Sainte Marie is part of the early history of the
State of Illinois.
Father' Stephen Badin came a number of times to
Sainte Marie to care for the spiritual needs of the little
colony. He blessed many little log churches up and down
the Wabash Valley. His tomb is made of stone, fashioned
to look like a log cabin. It even has wild vines growing
over it as no doubt many of the little log cabin churches
did. It is on the grounds of the University of Notre Dame
in Notre Dame or South Bend, Ind. There is also a mosaic
on the east porch of the Cathedral of the Immaculate
Conception in Washington, D. C. It depicts two men in
a canoe. The one in th e bow of the boat, a rugged indi-
vidual, wears a coon-skin cap and holds a rifle, while the
other, pushing off from shore, wears a long dark garb
and round low hat of the early missionary. The vegeta-
tion in the background could be found along the banks of
the Wabash or Embarras anywhere.
Saint© Marie Township Precinct 2
Sainte Marie Township itself is larger than most
townships. It takes in possibly seven miles north and
south and six miles east and west and 26,359 acres. The
Embarras River cuts across it diagonally, and the North
Fork River flows into the Embarras in Sec. 32, Town 6,
Range 14, and the land is owned by J. L. (Jackie) Wade.
The older residents will recognize this land as the "Hoff-
It's just possible this is the "Bend" that is responsible
for the original name of "Dark Bend" for without ques-
tion this must have been a very dark bend indeed with its
towering trees and thick underbrush. This is outside of
the river levee, and overflows very quickly when the
Embarras and the North Fork are on the rampage. Here
is where the levee broke in several places in 1957, causing
almost irreparable damage.
Almost all little communities have a story behind
them and the story of how "Dark Bend" came to be is as
"The bend of the river was so dark, and the under-
brush so thick it made a good hiding place for horse
thieves and robbers. Once they had gained this hiding
place they were safe from the law, for no sheriff was
brave enough to go in after them. Years went by. The
forests were cut down, the lumber used to build fine
homes, the land cleared of stumps, was tilled and made
into good farm land, and the word "Dark" has been
dropped from the "Bend".
Here many fine folk live. Driving along their well-
kept roads and seeing their crops and fine livestock, no
one would believe this little community had such a grim
beginning. Some of the names that have been in the
community since its very beginning were Yager, Kraus,
Michl, Beasler, Geiger, Rennier, Lobmire, Mennacher,
Ochs, Kerner, Boehl, Helford and Fisher.
St. Valentine's Parish
Almost every story of a little community begins with
a church, and so it was with the "Bend". For years the
people of the "Bend" belonged to the congregation in
Sainte Marie. They would drive or walk the distance,
some times cutting across Grandfather Huber's farm,
opening and closing the heavy gates, because, of course,
the farm was fenced. When they walked they would
cross the Embarras in a boat. This went on for a number
of years. Then in 1891 Valentine Kraus and his wife,
Magdalen, donated three acres of ground on which to
build a Church. They also gave $4,000, in those days a
large sum of money, to help buy the necessary materials.
The whole community worked with a will, and before
long, a neat little white country church was built. When
it was dedicated it was named St. Valentine's. Holy Mass
was read once a month by priests from Sainte Marie. St.
Valentine's was now a mission church of Sainte Mary's
in Sainte Marie. In 1910 St. Valentine's parish was estab-
lished and a rectory was built for a resident pastor.
The first resident pastor was Rev. Henry H. B. Prost,
who had been assistant to Rev. Father Virnich at Saint
Mary's in Sainte Marie. Fr. Prost changed the name of
St. Valentine to "Most Holy Redeemer". He was in
charge of the little congregation for three years. After
he was transferred Fr. Gormly of the Teutopolis Fran-
ciscan Novitiate came to hold services for the little con-
gregation once each Sunday.
Father Ladinski was also an assistant to Rev. P. J.
Virnich and took care of the St. Valentine's parish. It
had now been changed back to its original name, St.
Valentine, by Rev. Charles Flori.
Rev. Flori was resident pastor for several years, then
followed Rev. Paul Reinfels, Rev. Francis Meyers, Rev.
Bernard Wubbe, Rev. Fredrick Neneling, Rev. Oscar
Schubert, who was with the little parish the longest (11
years), Rev. Francis Corrigan (five years), Rev. John
Bertman (two years), Rev. Walter Deppish (seven years),
and Rev. Anthony J. Cepanio, one year. With so few
priests to care for them the small parish suffered and
again the little parish of St. Valentine's is a mission of
St. Mary's in Sainte Marie.
It is regrettable, too, for in 1953 St. Valentine's Parish
built a Parish Hall complete with dining room and kitchen.
Here the little community held their church picnics on
the beautifully kept grounds surrounding the church and
hall. Here, too, they serve delicious chicken and beef
dinners that people come for miles around to enjoy. We
sincerely hope the day soon comes when St. Valentine's
has a resident pastor again.
The first school was on land donated by Henry John-
son in 1878, where the present brick school is. It was
called Newlin school, nicknamed "Wild Cat". When
school quit, the land was to go to the owners, and Leonard
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Johnson owns it now. Teachers were Bill Bartram, Flor-
ence Fithian, Mrs. Jess Wright, Lulu Carbon, George J.
Wise, Hiram G. Miller, Ervin L. Graham, Minnie Curry,
Lela Sloan, Bessie Jackson, Mable Catt and Josephine
Dart. I am indebted to J. N. Yost for names and dates
of church and school in Bend community. Since then I've
learned why the Newlin school got the name "Wild Cat".
Back in the 1870's and 80's boys were needed at home
on the farms until the crops were gathered and a huge
pile of fire wood was cut, so it was always about the first
of December before they were free to go to school. Again
in the spring they left school about the last of February
to help fix fences and otherwise get ready for the farming
season, so, of course, they lost out in their education, but
they made up for it by going several extra winter terms.
Most of them were 17 or 18 years old and all bigger than
It was customary for the teacher to treat the scholars
before the holidays to bags of peanuts and candy. One
teacher at the Newlin School refused to do this so the big
boys took him out, held him under the pump and pumped
water on his head until they almost drowned him. When
the older folks heard of the escapade someone remarked,
"What else could you expect of those "Wild Cats?" From
then on the Newlin School was nicknamed "Wild Cat"
School. Little did they know such youngsters a few
generations later would be called "cool cats" and have a
In September, 1876, Xavier Michl and his wife
Theresa Michl donated one-half acre of land for school
purposes. When the school quit the land was to revert
to the owner. August Michl owns it now. Michl School
was built in 1877. In 1921 a new and more modern school
First teacher in 1877 was S. F. Laugel. Other teach-
ers in the Michl School were Anna Mae Murphy, Ellen
Pictor, Celia Osthimer, James Kaufmann, E. J. Gangloff,
Alex Gangloff, Henry Worland, John J. Alblinger, Bert
Mattingly, Paul McCullough, Mary Kraus, Henry Kirts,
Leona Geiger and Katherine Kerick.
In 1892 land was bought from Joe Ward for this
school. The first school was built in 1893. In 1936 a new
and modern school was built. First teacher in 1893 was
Nannie Trainor. Others were Lulu Carbon, E. J. Gang-
loff, Bertha Cummins, Rosie Matson, Dora Morgan, Clyde
Catt, John J. Alblinger, Nora Phillips, Mary Krause and
Carl Stanley. John J. Fisher now owns the land.
South Bend School
In 1895 land was bought by the school district from
Charles and Hannah Legg to build a school. It must have
been built in 1896 and was the only school built in this
section. The first teacher in 1896 was Bud Dalton. Others
were Grace Ames, Bill Adams, Hiram Miller, Dollie Brown,
Herman McCormick, Clyde Catt, Roy Linder, Henry Kirts
and Katherine Kerick. The land is now owned by Hamer
Mr. J. N. Yost continues:
"From what I can find, some school districts were
large with many children. The school on land now owned
by Hamer Stone served a large district. There were too
many children for the school building, so the district was
divided. That was when Scott school started. Some of
the Michl District was added to Scott, also from South
Bend. Thus Scott and South Bend School.
"All four schools, Newlin, Michl, Scott and South
Bend in the Bend community were consolidated in 1919
to form District 210 with Crawford County, Martin Town-
ship, Section 1, Town 5, Range 14. The school building
was started in 1949 and completed in 1950. School was
held in the new building at the start of the fall term in
The first South Bend Congregational Christian Church
was built in 1885. The present building was erected in
1895. Land was donated by Joseph Reigle. They have a
pastor who comes twice a month — second and fourth Sun-
days. They have Sunday School every Sunday at 9:30
A. M. and on the second and fourth Sundays they have
preaching after Sunday School, and also at 7:00 o'clock
on those Sunday evenings.
Their regular attendance is not large, around 20 to
30. Many of the congregation have died, others moved
away. The South Bend is not so thickly settled as it used
to be. Being a farming community, one farmer with
modern machinery can farm so many more acres, thus
small farms where big families used to work and live are
now made into large farms and the people left to find
their fortunes elsewhere. This, too, is a pity for a fine
little community like the South Bend people should have
continued to live here and prosper.
History of Sainte Marie Schools
Joseph Picquet tried continually to get a religious
order to come to Sainte Marie. In 1861 the St. Joseph
Sisters of Corondolet, Mo., came to take charge of the
school. They were recalled in 1871 and Geo. Hubert of
Evansville, Ind., took charge of the school.
In the mansion vacated by the St. Joseph Sisters, an
infirmary was established in 1880 by the Sisters of Chari-
ty who cared for a number of aged patients as well as
going about in the community helping care for the sick.
By 1893 there were so many children of grade school
age in the congregation that the whole building was made
into a Parochial School and the Ursuline Nuns of Alton,
111., were engaged to teach the school. They continued to
teach until the school was consolidated in 1947. The new
school was built in 1938, using much of the funds left to
the school by Joseph Kaufmann, the first child baptized
in Sainte Marie.
A square or block almost in the center of the town is
where you will find the Church, School, Parish House and
Parish Hall surrounded by a park. Here is where the
Labor Day picnic is held on the first Monday in Septem-
ber every year. Hundreds of former residents come hun-
dreds of miles to see the old home town and visit with
their relatives and friends.
Across the street south is the village park given by
Joseph Picquet when the village was laid out in 1847.
Shaded by fine old maple trees on four sides, a baseball
diamond is the center of attraction. Sainte Marie has
always had a baseball team. The Saints have always
given a good account of themselves, each year winning
more games than they lost.
Sainte Marie Consolidated School
School District No. 10
Changes come to all things, so it was with the school
system in Sainte Marie. For more than 100 years the
school was Parochial, taught by Nuns from different
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orders, then a new order of affairs swept the country.
The little red school house was obsolete, schools were
A new brick school was built in Sainte Marie. Parish
owned, but rented to the state, it was to be state super-
vised, but nuns continued to teach.
In September, 1947, the following districts were con-
solidated, the students being brought in each day by bus:
Districts 105, Raeftown; 104, North Bend; 91, Pond Grove;
90, Assumption; 77, Ochs; 73, Dallmier; 74, Kessler; 79,
Greenwood; and in 1948 and 1949 parts of 100, South
Bend, and 78, Richards, were added.
The new brick school has four classrooms, office and
library with kitchen and lunchroom in the basement. The
Public School building in the same block is also used. Here
fifth, sixth and seventh grades are taught in the two large
classrooms. A music room for band, and a shop where
youngsters are taught to use tools are in the basement. A
fine playground and park surround and connect the two
schools, making it all a fine arrangement for the 181
pupils who attend Sainte Marie Consolidated School.
Directors for the Sainte Marie Consolidated School
District are: President, Lawrence Huber; secretary, Nor-
bert Sheridan; Richard Hunzinger, Theodore Kocher, Dan
Ochs, Francis Wagner and Marion Kapper.
Members of the faculty are: Sister Mary Valeria
Early, principal, grade 8, Sainte Marie; Sister Marie
Grant, grades 1 and 2, Sainte Marie; Sister Ruthanne
Huss, grade 3, Sainte Marie; Mrs. Helen Baker, grade 4,
Newton; Vincent Kellei\ grades 5 and 6, West Liberty;
Henry J. Kirts, assistant principal, grade 7, Sainte Marie;
Mrs. Genevieve Wilson, music, Thursday and Friday morn-
ings, Newton; school nurse, Mrs. Maxine Hartrich, Sainte
Marie; secretary, Mrs. Melba Rose Sheridan, West
In 1936 a Mothers' Club was organized in the school
by Mrs. Ferdinand Hartrich. The primary motives were:
First, to hold meetings where the parents could talk to
the teachers, who then were the Ursuline Nuns of Alton,
concerning any problem that might come up in the school ;
and secondly, a long range plan to have at some time a
hot lunch program for the students of the school. The
club has continued to operate, and all this and much more
has been accomplished. A kitchen and dining room have
been outfitted in the basement of the school, and the
students have a nutritious lunch at a nominal cost.
Sainte Marie Public Schools 1916-1946
During World War I there was an increasing interest
in high school education and the State Legislature passed
high school district laws to meet the demands. Along
with this there was developed the two-year, one-room high
school concept. Following this there was a wave of high
school district elections formulating districts. Willow
Hill interests formed a district which included territory
south to Sainte Marie. Following this Sainte Marie inter-
ests formed a four year High School District east and
south to the county lin e and west to beyond West Liberty.
The Sainte Marie High School opened its first year
in the fall of 1916 in the old two-room Weber Hardware
Store building. The elementary school building was be-
coming unsafe and four years later they moved the
grades to the north room of this old store building. Local
interest in the High School grew rapidly and had a strong
local support. However, the District area was off-center
for Sainte Marie and it was seen that the area would not
justify the construction of a four year high school build-
ing. As the result of a petition the high school district
was voted out in 1921 and the area reverted to non-high
Immediately the Public School directors proceeded to
move on the construction of a two room building. One
loom was for a two-year high school and the other for
a public grade school. This building was occupied in late
fall of 1922 with Merle D. Yost teaching the 9th and 10th
grades in the high school and Miss Christine Alblinger
teaching the eight grades in the elementary school.
This organization continued until 1946 when the Non-
High School District was incorporated into the Newton
Community High School District.
Dining the above period the following teachers served
in the system.
Year High School Elementary School
1916-17 J. P. Whitsel George Hubert
1917-18 Chester Prior George Hubert
1918-19 Charles Maples George Hubert
1919-20 Merle D. Yost George Hubert
1920-21 Merle D. Yost Bert Mattingly
1921-22 J. G. Pugh Bert Mattingly
1922-23 Merle D. Yost Christine Alblinger
1923-24 Merle D. Yost Christine Alblinger
1924-25 Rolla Allison Christine Alblinger
1925-26 Merle D. Yost Arthur Reis
1926-27 Merle D. Yost Arthur Reis
1927-28 Christine Alblinger Henry Kirts
1928-29 Christine Alblinger Henry Kirts
1929-30 Rolla Allison Henry Kirts
1930-31 Christine Alblinger Henry Kirts
1931-32 Christine Alblinger Henry Kirts
1932-33 Christine Alblinger Henry Kirts
1933-34 Christine Alblinger Eugenia Pictor
1934-35 Christine Alblinger Eugenia Pictor
1935-36 Christine Alblinger Julia Danforth
1936-37 Christine Alblinger Julia Danforth
1937-38 Christine Alblinger Henry Kirts
1938-1946 Christine Alblinger Henry Kirts
Sainte Mary's Parish
Sainte Marie, Illinois
Pastor: Rev. George Windsor.
Trustees: Frank A. Zuber and H. T. Kirts.
Chairman: Celeste Keller.
Assistant Chairman: Geraldine Gowin.
Secretary-Treasurer: Mildred Alblinger.
No. 1 — Olivia Sheridan.
No. 2— Helen Radke.
No. 3 — Catherine Kocher.
No. 4 — Serena Kaufmann.
No. 5 — Bernie Zuber.
No. 6— Ursula Huff.
No. 7 — Romona Hunzinger.
No. 8 — Mary Kessler.
No. 9 — Letha Zuber.
No. 10 — Mary Lamkin.
No. 11 — Gladys Reis.
No. 12 — Lucille Dallmier.
Mrs. Christine Hartrich
Mrs. Louise Keller
SHEDELBOWER'S SAW MILL
Sainte Marie, 111.
Congratulations and Best Wishes to
Sainte Marie Quasquicentennial
ROBERT C. DOUTHIT, Owner
Southeast Corner Square, Newton, Illinois
L. D. RICHARDS & SON
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Phone 278 802 S. van Buren Newton
Best Wishes From
St. Mary of the Assumption Parish 1934-1 902
Father Peter J. Virnich served this parish and com-
munity faithfully and energetically from Oct. 27, 1881,
until the summer of 1934. From December, 1934, to
February, 1937, the Rev. Lawrence G. Villing was pastor.
In June, 1937, Rev. Francis C. Schlepphorst became pas-
tor, and he immediately made plans for a new school to
supplant the old Assumption School. By September, 1938,
the new school was completed at a cost of $14,365.
In 1940 a nine-room modern brick rectory was built
at a cost of $10,292. On July 5, 1945, Father Schlepphorst
exchanged pastorates with Father Anthony J. Stengel of
St. John's in Quincy, 111. In 1946 new stained glass win-
dows were installed in the church at a cost of $6,000. Just
before Father Stengel's sudden death on Aug. 5, 1947, the
church interior was completely decorated at a cost of
$8,150. New lighting fixtures for the church were in-
stalled at a cost of $1,575 for furnishing only.
For the remainder of 1947 the Very Rev. Joseph De-
Palma, S.C.J., Superior of the Sacred Heart Mission
House, was in charge of the parish as Administrator. On
Jan. 2, 1948, the Rev. George Windsor, the present pastor,
was appointed in charge of the parish by the late Most
Rev. James A. Griffin, D.D., Bishop of Springfield-in-
Illinois, and installed as pastor by the Very Rev. Daniel
Daly of Mattoon, Dean of the Effingham deanery on Sun-
day, Jan. 25, 1948.
On April 10, 1949— Palm Sunday— the Most Rev. Wil-
liam A. O'Connor, D.D., newly-appointed Bishop of the
Diocese of Springfield-in-lllinois, administered the Sacra-
ment of Confirmation for the first time in his life here
and Larry Kirts was the first person the Bishop ever
In May, 1952, the Ursuline Nuns left Sainte Marie
after 58 years of faithful service to the community.
Mother Leonie, O.S.U., Mother Margaret Mary, O.S.U.,
and Mother Geraldine, O.S.U., were the last of the Ursu-
lines to teach in the Assumption School at Sainte Marie.
In August, 1952, the Dominican Sisters of Springfield,
111., arrived to assume charge of the teaching in the
Assumption School. The three Dominicans from the
Sacred Heart Convent at Springfield were Sister Rose-
mary, O.P., as Principal and Superior, Sister Mary Denice,
O.P., and Sister Mary Rita, OP.
As long ago as 1866 there was an Altar Society in
Saint Mary's Church congregation. At that time there
were 12 members, and a Mrs. Mary Hartrich was the
president. Part of the record reads:
"A church dinner will be held the first week in Octo-
ber. Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Picquet promised to donate two
brace of wild ducks, Mr. and Mrs. Xavier Picquet 12 roast
prairie chicken. The rest of the parish were to furnish
vegetables, pickles, jams and jellies, homemade bread and
This is a far cry from the annual church picnic now
held on Labor Day where hundreds come hundreds of miles
to see their relatives and friends and get that fine chicken
and beef dinner served by the ladies of Saint Mary's
Sainte Marie Girls Who Joined Sisterhood
Order Name in Order Family Name
St. Joseph Mother M. Severine Louise Miller
St. Francis Sr. Archangela Josephine Osheimer
St. Francis Sr. Ceceliana Genevieve Kaufmann
St. Fiam is
I 'iv, ions Blood
Sr. Anna Josephine
Sr. Philomene Marie
Sr. Maiic Amelia
Sr. John Berchmaus
Sr. M. Angelita
Sr. Mary Stella
Sr. M. Angelita
Sr. M. Carol
Sr. M. Franeella
Sr. M. Eileen
Sr. Francis Xavier
Sr. Theresa Clare
Sr. M. Emeliaua
History of S. C. J. Mission in Sainte Marie
Father Henry Hogebach and Father Charles Keilmann
of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart
arrived in Sainte Marie in January, 1925. For some years
they and a few of their comrades had been working among
the Sioux Indians in South Dakota, but now was entrusted
to them the task of founding an American Province of
the Congregation and opening a seminary to train Ameri-
can boys for the priesthood and brotherhood. The small,
unoccupied buildings on the property of Miss Marie
Picquet, daughter of Joseph Picquet, founder of Sainte
Marie, were not the most ideal, but with the permission
of His Excellency, Bishop James Griffin of Springfield,
and the help of many benefactors, they were acquired and
construction and renovation were begun in 1926.
This same year saw the arrival of the first student
at the young Sacred Heart Mission House, Joseph Frichtl
By 1927, with 12 students for the priesthood, the pre-
paratory seminary was officially opened and the Rev.
Bernard Rotcrmann, S.C.J. , who had recently arrived from
Germany, was appointed first superior. These first years
were memorable for their many hardships. The desks
were planks thrown across sawhorses, and as sleeping
quarters could be arranged for only 8 of the 12 boys, the
remaining four were accommodated by Miss Picquet in
her home next door.
In 1934, the novitiate, which had been established in
Hales Corners, Wis., was transferred to Sainte Marie, and
for one year the Mission House functioned as a combined
novitiate and minor seminary. Th e following year, 1935,
saw the opening of a house in Donaldson, Ind., to care
for the preparatory seminary students. Since that time,
the Mission House has carried on as a novitiate, or basic
training camp for the spiritual life.
In 1945, under the direction of Father Frichtl, the
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first student at the Mission House, work was begun on the
imposing Sacred Heart Chapel. The chapel was com-
pleted in 1947 under the direction of Father Joseph
DePalma, S.C.J. After his term as superior at the Mission
House, Father Joseph went on to become provincial of the
North American Province, and is presently Superior
General of the Congregation, residing in Rome, Italy.
In the Fall of 1961, with Father Rotermann again
Superior, the new west wing, containing class and confer-
ence rooms, library, recreation rooms, quarters for the
Fathers and Brothers and administative offices was dedi-
cated by the Most Reverend William A. O'Connor, D.D.,
Bishop of Springfield.
The present community of the Mission house com-
prises 4 priests, 5 professed brothers, 27 cleric novices, 2
brother novices, 31 cleric postulants and 6 brother postul-
ants. Even larger groups are expected in the future from
the 200 students in three minor seminaries throughout the
Sainte Marie Village Government
Members of the Town Board of Sainte Marie in this
year of 1962 are :
Mayor or Village President, Lawrence Hartrich;
clerk, Richard Hunzinger; finance chairman, Paul Falte-
mier; Andrew Sheridan, Robert Swisher, Edward Stone,
Peter V. Burgund, Leonard Sheridan and Clarence W.
The General Telephone Company of Illinois, which has
the telephone franchise in the village and nearby area,
completed the cut-over from magneto to dial service in
Sainte Marie in mid-March, 1961.
The Fire Alarm number for Sainte Marie is Willow
Hill 3011, with telephones in the Sacred Heart Novitiate
and the Alblinger & Kirts garage, giving 24-hour service.
City Water Works
For years the people of Sainte Marie talked of water
works for the village — not only a really good supply of
water for the people, but water for sanitation, as well as
for fire fighting. In September, 1953, the Village Board
with B. L. Huff as Mayor, put on an intensive drive for a
city water works. A well 54 feet deep, located north of
town, across the Embarras River was drilled. It came in
flowing such an amount of fresh water that the engineers
told the town board that the supply would never run out.
The city water system was then constructed in 1954
at a cost of $83,000. It was put in by Wendell Stokes of
Decatur, 111. To cover the cost $10,000 was paid in gen-
eral obligation bonds and $73,000 in revenue bonds. All
the revenue bonds were sold locally.
A 30,000-gallon water tower which reaches a height
only slightly less than 100 feet is located in the center of
Sainte Marie, giving good service to all parts of the town.
The bonds are being retired regularly.
City water is used in nearly every home and business
in the village. It has added much to the lives of the
people, not only in a general well-being, but there are
more beautiful flower and vegetable gardens, and greener
lawns. The city water works are paying out in more
ways than one.
Sainte Marie was almost 100 years old before it had
a fire of any consequence. Lightning struck Sainte Marie's
Church on the night of March 18, 1933, during a spring
thunderstorm and burned it to the ground. It was a
A few years later Ed Barthelme's Grocery Store
caught fire and it, too, burned to the ground because of
the lack of fire-fighting equipment. This really woke
the people up. A used fire truck was tried with the idea
of purchasing it if found effective. It was an old fash-
ioned type fire truck, and soon became obsolete.
On Oct. 1, 1959, the first fire department in the
Village of Sainte Marie was organized. It began with 17
men, working as volunteer firemen. They were: Richard
Hunzinger, fire chief; I. D. Kocher, assistant chief; Paul
Faltemier, secretary; B. L. Huff, treasurer.
The other volunteer firemen were Merece Go win,
Eugene Hartrich, Harold Hartrich, Lawrence Hartrich,
Paul Hartrich, Paul Hunzinger, Lawrence Kirts, Ronald
Kirts, Ephrem Rennier, Leonard Sheridan, Edward Stone
and Clarence Wade.
The fire truck, used, was purchased from the Oblong
Electric Power in Sainte Marie
In August, 1921, a special election was called to vote
on electricity for the Village of Sainte Marie. The elec-
tion was passed by a vote of two to one.
In the fall of 1922 the plant was installed in a brick
building now occupied by Hartrich's grocery.
It was a D. C. plant with motor-charged batteries.
Power was limited. Homemakers were told to use their
electric washing machines only on Mondays. Tuesday
was ironing day. The motors were run continuously on
those days to provide power. Sam Barker was plant
engineer. Mr. Barker took his job so seriously there were
nights when he slept at the plant.
Street lights were only on until 11 P. M., at which
time all good citizens were supposed to be off the streets
and at home for the night.
Ireneus Barthelme was mayor at this time. This sort
of electric power went on for seven years. Then Central
Illinois Public Service Co. power service came into the
Again the village voted on electric power for the
village. Again it passed by a good margin.
C. I. P. S. was contracted to build power lines to fur-
nish electric power for the village. Power lines, like the
city water works, added much to the lives of the people.
Hallick Shryock was mayor at this time and E. J.
Gangloff village clerk. Of all th e fine work Mr. Gangloff
did on the Village Board, this was his last contract
Civil War Veterans
Along with many of their other good qualities the
people of Sainte Marie have always been very patriotic.
This history of Sainte Marie village and township
would not be complete without the names of our War
Veterans. After long weeks and months of searching,
I've come up with a list of our Civil War Veterans; I hope
it is complete.
Pvt. Milton Allison, Co. C, 43 Ind. Inf.
Pvt. Francis Althaus, Co. E, 6 111. Cav.
Pvt. William Bixler.
Pvt. Mathew Casey, Co. K, 32 111. Inf.
Pvt. Joseph Collins, Co. K, 32 111. Inf.
FIRST NATIONAL BANK
"The Agency That Appreciates
117 Whittle Ave.
NEWTON FEED & SUPPLY
Complete Line of Jim Martin Paints.
or Your Money Back.
FIRST NATIONAL BANK
Serving Jasper County Since 1896
First with Pastronic posting. First with
drive-up windows. First with credit life
insurance on loans. First choice of 3,500
people as a Bank Home.
The Bank That Appreciates Your Business
Civil War Veterans
World War II
Pvt. Joseph Schwager, Co. E., 111. Inf.
Pvt. Joseph Shedlebower, Co. K, 38th 111. Inf.
Pvt. Michael C. Shedlebower, Co. E., 54th 111. Inf.
Pvt. George W. Shelly, Dat. H. 4, U. S. Art.
Cpl. George Spitzer, Co. E., 54th 111. Inf.
Pvt. Louis Spitzer, Co. E., 54th 111. Inf.
Pvt. Steven Stark, C.
Pvt. Xavier Wimmer, C.
Henry Kirts, Co. F., 5th Reg. Vol. 111. Cav.
Spanish American War
World War I
August F. Alblinger
John J. Alblinger
P. A. Derler
John E. Michl
U. S. MCIA ALLA
111. U. S. Army
Killed in action.
Capt. Grover Cleveland
Brown, M. D.
Peter Hoffman Jr.
John C. Jackson
I. D. Kocher
Elmer Ray Ochs
Mrs. G. C. Brown has the sword which her father, Cpl.
George Spitzer, used during the Civil War. He was dis-
charged at Little Rock, Ark., Jan. 31, 1861. Mrs. Brown
also has two land grants issued to her grandfather,
Mathias Miller, in 1850. One was signed by President
Zachary Taylor and the other by President Millard
4-H leader names not on record at the Home Bureau
office: Mrs. Bernadette Reis, leader 1950 and 1951; Miss
Patricia Reis, 1952, Club, Mothers Helpers.
Past Trustees of Saint Mary's Church: David Ochs,
Francis Guthnick, Andrew Sheridan, Anthony Reis, James
Spitzer, James Keller, Daniel Kocher, Frank Zuber, Har-
The Mother's Helpers 4-H club is led by Mrs. Leona Kocher.
Officers for 1962 are: President, Linda Kocher; vice-president, Cathy Helregel; secretary, Sheryl Kocher; recrea-
tion leaders, Peggy Helregel and Brenda Kocher; song leader, Janet Kocher, and County Federation delegates, Mary
Ellen Kocher and Sheryl Kocher.
Over the past years the club members have consistently scored high in the county achievement activities.
In addition, we wish to express appreciation to Hartrich Bros. Grocery and Meat Processing Plant and Ed Stone
Heavy Equipment of Sainte Marie and Harmon's Rexall Drug Store of Oblong, whose advertisements were inadvertently
Pvt. Louis Dashler, Co. E, 54 111. Inf.
Pvt. Henry Edwards, Co. E.
Pvt. Thomas Fitzsimmons, Co. K, 32 111. Inf.
Pvt. Joseph Fare, Co. E, 54 111. Inf.
Captain Sebastian Shedlebower.
Rhoda Fore, Nurse, A. N. C.
Fucho; Assumption Cemetery
Cpl. Henry Greives, Co. E, 54 111. Cav.
Pvt. Patrick Hynes, Co. E, 54 111. Inf.
Pvt. Nicholas Miller, Co. K, 54 111. Inf.
Pvt. Adam New, Co. K, 32 111. Inf.
Cpl. Cornelius O'Donnell, Co. K, 32 111. Inf.
Sgt. Daniel O'Donnell, Co. B, 155 111. Inf.
2/Lt. Xavier Picquet, Co. K, 32 111. Inf.
Pvt. Francis Plassiard, Co. K, 32 111. Inf.
Pvt. Robert Polyys, Co. C, 63 111. Inf.
Pvt. Peter Raef, Co. B, 155 111. Inf.
Lt.-Col. John J. Rider, Co. K, 32 111. Inf.
Pvt. Andrew Rohr, Co. 1, 9 Ohio Inf.
Pvt. Jacob Schwager, 23 N. F., 21 Inf. Div.
Theo. E. Piper, German Lutheran Cemetery.
George J. Wagner, Haven Hill Cemetery, Olney.
(George J. Wagner was with Gen. Sherman, on that
historic march "From Atlanta to the 1 Sea.")
Names and Records in South Bemd Cemetery
Michael Miller C. Pvt., Co. C, 155 111. Inf.
Addison Fulton, C. Sgt., V G Ohio Inf.
W. M. Trobaugh, C, Co. B, 98 111. Inf.
Thomas J. Underhill, C. 1810-1892.
Jo Anderson Baily, C. March 1, 1892.
Thomas Brownfield, C. Co., G3 111. Inf.
William Brownfield, June, 1844-Jan., 1920.
Victor Wright, C. 111. Corp., 20 Inf., Oct. 2, 1863.
Arnold Wright, C. Cpl., Co. M, 111. 20 Inf.
Milt. Police, Bn, June 6, 1927-July 22, 1958, William
I have Mr. Dorthan Reigle, R. R. Oblong, III. (South
Bend) to thank for the above names of War Veterans.
Mr. Reigle added:
"There are only a few that have government head
stones with their Army record on their head stones."
Civil War Veterans in Vager Cemetery, Bend
Johnson C. Yager, C., Co. E, 54 111. Inf.
Peter Yager, Pvt., C, 36 111. Inf.
Q. T. Miller, C.
World War II Veteran in Yager Cemetery
On April 9, 1865, the Army of Virginia laid down its
arms near Appomattox Court House, and then turned
homeward, no longer Confederate soldiers but American
citizens. The Civil War was over.
The officers and men were allowed to go home on
their paroles not to take up arms against the United
States until exchanged, and the former were to retain
their private baggage and horses.
After the surrender had been concluded General Lee
said he had forgotten to mention that many of his soldiers
rode their own horses.
General Grant at once replied that such should keep
their horses to aid them in their future work at home.
Several of these horses came back to Sainte Marie.
Lt.-Col. J. J. Rider brought back his horse.
Paul Rider of Berea, Ohio, sent this: "He was a dark
chestnut, with white blaze face and four white legs, from
top of hoof to knee. He was exceptionally intelligent, very
spirited and was addicted to the sound of band music.
His name was "General." He would begin to prance at
the first sound of band music and was not content until
he could follow the band around town. The horse would
eat only so much grain, would never founder himself and
would rather drink water out of the rain barrel than to
dtink the cleaner spring or pump water out of the trough.
"First, from my father's recitation, his father's last
title was that of Colonel. I know of two battles he fought
in and have read some of the history of these battles, as
recorded in several volumes in the Historical Building
located at the Civil War Memorial Park at Chattanooga-
"In one of the volumes, it refers to Captain J. J.
Rider. It relates the situation as to where, because of a
set of circumstances, Captain Rider had to give commands
which were contrary to the line of strategy intended. He
did this entirely on his own judgment and in the light of
the situation prevailing. He was called before a court-
martial and after the hearing was held and the facts
brought to light, he was highly commended for his action
ami cited for his brilliant judgment. This led to his pro-
motion to a colonelship. That is a brief synopsis of the
World War I Veterans
Louis F. Kirts
John A. Michl
Walter Eugene Picquet
Aloysius J. Spitzer
George W. Fowler
Merle D. Yost
Oscar Charles Barthelme
World War II Veterans
Albert F. Fisher
Edward W. Faltemier
Paul E. Faltemier
Norse W. Weiscope
James R. Ziegler
Frederick A. Zuber
Henry J. Zuber
Leo Herbert Zuber
87 Years of Continuous Service
THE PEOPLES STATE BANK
of Newton, Illinois
Another Old Established Landmark of This
Area Salutes the Village of Sainte Marie
Upon Attaining Their 125th Anniversary
GEORGE E. SHIPLEY
U. S. Congressman
MOTEL AND CAFE
Routes 130 & 33
MR. & MRS. DEAN PARKER
OLDSMOBILE - CADILLAC
Robert G. Geltz
Charles Edward Geltz
John J. Hoecherl
Albert C. Helregel
Edward L. Huber
Clifford F. Huss
Clifford James Huff
Earl F. Huff
Eugene H. Hartrich
Carl A. Hipp
Stanley R. Hynes
Paul George Hunzinger
Harry Elden C. Hunzinger
Richard A. Hunzinger
Ralph Harold Huber
Paul Joseph Hartrich
Gerald M. Huff
George M. Keller
George M. Keller
John M. Miller
Darrel E. Miller
Jerome C. Ochs
Augustine W. Ochs
Robert C. Ochs
Philip G. Ochs
Wilmer A. Ochs
Urban J. Ochs
Ralph T. Rennier
James Anthony Reis
Francis J. Rennier
Oscar G. Strutner
Raymond L. Shryock
Louis W. Valbert
Charles Herchel Valbert
Clarence W. Wade
Clyde E. Wade
Vincent F. Huber
Vernon C. Schwager
Theodore A. Kocher
Ralph R. Ochs
Dorris A. Hetgen
Ferdinand L. Shedlebower
Harold H. Hann
Donald L. Hartrich
Leonard G. Sheridan
Ralph E. Kidinell
Sylvan M. Kocher
Kenneth J. Yost
Eugene N. Ederer
Robert M. Swisher
Lawrence C. Huber
Donald G. Spitzer
George W. Moran
Thomas B. Ochs
Jerome A. Ochs
Odilo J. Bolander
Ralph G. Kidwell
Bernard J. Kaufmann
First Lt. Maxine J.
Donald J. Boehl
Ireneaus Edward Ochs
Louis Lawrence Huss
Oscar James Boehl
Eugene Joseph Dallmier
Harry Joseph Maginn
Herman Wayne Burgener
Harold Eugene Shryock
Philip Bernard Burgund
Peter Victor Burgund
George Audrew Dallmier
World War II War Veterans
St. Valentines Cemetery
George Geiger, Pvt., Hq., 8 Army Corps.
Edward W. Klueg, Pvt., Co. 1, 1 Bn., 1G0 D. B.
Paul J. McCullough, 1st Lt., Co. B, 130 Inf., 33 Div.
Eugene F. Michl, Sgt., Co. A, 311 Signal B. N.
As in all wars prison camps are bad. Andersonville
Prison, Andersonville, Georgia, during the Civil War came
into existence in February, 1864, under conditions which
made it inevitable that it would become the worst of the
lot. Lieutenant Xavier Picquet and Joseph Shedlebower
of Sainte Marie were two of the prisoners there. There
was little food and less water. The men were actua
starving for water. They started digging on a hill side
in the hope of finding water. Without question many
A bolt of lightning struck the hill side and water
gushed forth and to this day is fresh spring water gushing
The prisoners cry rang up to heaven.
God heard and His thunder cleft the earth
And poured His sweetest water gushing here.
The above historical data taken from American Heri-
tage, August, 1959, and Leaflet from Andersonville Prison
Park, Andersonville, Ga.
In trying to find the names of the Korean War vet-
erans, we found it utterly impossible to get them correct-
ly. Many young men who were in uniform and in the
armed forces for some time were not considered a Korean
War veteran. So we gave it up.
However, any young man who has been in the armed
forces has our sincerest admiration.
American Legion and Post Home
When World War I was over and the American Legion
was formed in 1919, the war veterans from Sainte Marie
joined Post 20 in Newton. There were possibly 12 of them.
After the World War II veterans came home, it be-
came evident the veterans of Sainte Marie and surround-
ing territory needed a Post Home of their own.
An American Legion post for Sainte Marie was dis-
cussed in December of 1945 with the first organizational
meeting being held in the Sainte Marie School. The first
membership cards were issued under date of Dec. 17, 1945,
and were for the .year 1946.
H. T. Kirts was elected the first post commander. A
post charter was applied for Dec. 13, 1945, with Howard
Fehrenbacher, Dan Ochs, Leonard Menke, Louis Kirts,
Noah Bahl, Andrew Bolander, Charles Curtright, Ralph
Curtright, Robert O'Brien, Joseph P. Strutner, Oscar
Strutner, Charles A. Frauli, Edward W. Faltemier, George
Derler and Joseph E. Barthelme as charter members.
The post was incorporated Nov. 17, 1949, under the
"General, not for profit" corporation act of the State of
Illinois, with M. R. Brackett, Harry Hunzinger, Leonard
Menke, Louis Kirts and Howard Fehrenbacher as the
first board of directors.
In the fall of 1949 the members hit upon the idea of
building and owning their own post home. Up to now,
they had been meeting in the room above the Alblinger &
Kirts hardware store. Donations for the building cost
were taken up among the members and other interested
persons and lot No. 14 in block "C" was donated by J. J.
Alblinger, H. T. Kirts and L. C. Kirts.
After construction was completed more funds were
needed to pay outstanding bills, and a mortgage was
given to the Sainte Marie Bank for the amount borrowed,
for a period of five years payable in installments.
In 19 months on Aug. 29, 1951, or 41 months ahead
of the due date, this mortgage was paid in full. On
Wednesday, Nov. 14, 1951, the post held a mortgage-
burning ceremony, with Auxiliary members and their
husbands, the Town Board, and a bank representative as
guests. The mortgage was burned in the old tin hat Louis
Spannagel wore in combat during World War I. A real
party was held with free food and drinks, and a dance in
The post continued to grow in membership, as also
did the Legion Auxiliary unit, making the building on
occasions too small to accommodate the crowd. At the
first meeting in January, 1954, a motion was brought
before the post to build an addition to the building. The
motion was voted on, and carried by a vote of 38 to 4.
At this time, Lawrence Hartrich was commander. A
building committee was appointed. Paul Hartrich was
chairman, and Joe Strutner, Joe Barthelme, Leonard
Menke and Paul Bogard were selected as the other mem-
bers. The new addition added 30 feet to the Legion Home.
(; reelings From
Dot's Beauty Shop
Sainte Marie, 111.
Ruge' Fashion Shoppe
Newton's Leading Ladies Ready-to- Wear
West Side Square Newton, Illinois
Mont Eagle Mills Inc.
Phone 1221 Oblong, 111.
Mason True Blue Gas Co.
Oblong Appliance & Furniture Co.
Call Us Collect In Oblong, 111.
For Drugs & Jewelry
Compliments and Best Wishes From
Best Wishes to a Fine Community for a
0. A. Davis
Real Estate, Farm Management, Appraisals
Sales, Farm & City Properties
Office 3rd Door North of First Nat'l. Bank
Neil Strole, Salesman O. A. Davis, Prop.
Jos A. Boos & Son
Dry Goods and Clothing
Southwest Corner Square, Newton, Illinois
Parklanes Bowling Center
and Dining Room
Where Quality Meets Economy
Sims Furniture Store
Furniture — Rugs — Bedding
Magic Chef and Tappan Ranges
The basement also was extended equally, making room
for a fully equipped kitchen, which the Legion Auxiliary
Orville Collings donated the digging of the basement
and post members gave their labor, working whenever
they could. The American Legion Home of Post 932 in
Sainte Marie was made into a building any small town
would be proud to have.
The Legion this year has reached a new high in mem-
bership, 151 members, and that figure in a town of 400
inhabitants is something to be proud of. Donald C. Spitzer
was the 1961-62 commander with Patrick J. Moran in-
stalled July 2, 1962.
The above historical facts were taken from the min-
utes of American Legion Post 932, Sainte Marie, Illinois,
Jasper County. The two men from our community who
died while in the service during World War II were:
William Ochs, son of Mr. and Mrs. Alex Ochs, and Virgil
Ederer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Ederer.
Francis Schwager lost his life in the Korean conflict,
and Charles Rodgers overseas.
Commanders of Post 932
1945-46 H. T. Kirts, W. W. 2, Sainte Marie, 111.
1946-47 Edward Faltemier, W. W. 2, Livingston, 111.
1947-49 Paul Hartrich, W. W. 2, Sainte Marie, 111.
1949-50 Otis Maxwell, W. W. 2, Brookane, 111.
1950-51 Harold Hartrich, W. W. 2, Sainte Marie, 111.
1951-52 Louis Spannagel, W. W. 2, Willow Hill, 111.
1952-53 Maynard R. Brackett, W. W. 2, Newton, 111.
1953-54 Lawrence Hartrich, W. W. 2, Sainte Marie, 111.
1954-55 Riley Chapman, W. W. 2, Willow Hill, 111.
1955-56 James A. Geltz, Korean, West Liberty, 111.
1956-57 Leonard Menke, W. W. 1, West Liberty, 111.
1957-58 Irenaeus D. Kocher, Korean, Sainte Marie, 111.
1958-59 L. D. Robins, W. W. 2, West Liberty, 111.
1959-60 George W. Moran, W. W. 2, Sainte Marie, 111.
1960-61 James J. Cunningham, Korean, Sainte Marie, 111.
1961-62 Donald C. Spitzer, W. W. 2.
1962-63 Patrick J. Moran, Korean, Sainte Marie, 111.
Installed July 2, 1962.
American Legion Auxiliary Post 932
With the full-fledged and flourishing American Legion
Post in town, it was soon evident that a Legion Auxiliary
would be a great asset. A meeting was held in the
Alblinger and Kirts Hall in January, 1949, and on Feb. 2,
1949, an application for a charter was made. There were
14 charter members: Mrs. Georgiana Brown, Marjorie
Barthelme, Marie Curtright, Elizabeth Geltz, Lucie Hart-
rich, Clara Hartrich, Romona Hunzinger, Viola Keller,
Martha Kocher, Frances Menke, Geneva Shedlebower,
Marcella Strutner, Agnes Strutner and Olivia Sheridan.
The new Unit adopted the name, Sainte Marie Unit
Post 932. Mrs. Christine Rockemeyer, district director,
Mt. Vernon, installed the following officers for the first
year of the new American Legion Auxiliary: President,
Mrs. Clara Hartrich; vice-president, Mrs. Frances Menke;
secretary, Mrs. Geneva Shedlebower; treasurer. Mrs.
Agnes Strutner; chaplain, Mrs. Martha Kocher; sergeant-
at-arms, Mrs. Lucie Hartrich; historian, Mrs. Olivia
Miss Joan Kirts, daughter of H. T. and Lena Kirts,
was the first junior sent to Girls' State at Jacksonville,
At the close of 1950 there were 63 members in the
Auxiliary. Mrs. Dorothy Huber, past president as dele-
gate attended the American Legion Auxiliary convention
in Chicago, Aug. 6-9.
Sainte Marie Auxiliary has been 100% and quota
every year since its beginning, averaging 36 members per
meeting. The unit now has grown to 111, a grand exam-
ple of what a small town with determination to grow, can
do. Through the years Sainte Marie Auxiliary has enter-
tained guests from Newton, Olney, Robinson, Effingham,
Breese, Carlyle, Mt. Vernon, Mt. Carmel, Annapolis and
Lawrenceville. One of the members, Mrs. Louis Span-
nagel has attended every meeting of the past 12 years.
Past Auxiliary presidents are: Mrs. Clara Hartrich,
1949; Mrs. Dorothy Huber, 1949-50; Mrs. Olivia Sheridan,
1950-51; Mrs. Agnes Strutner, 1951-52; Mrs. Maxine Hart-
rich, 1952-53; Mrs. Martha Kocher, 1953-54; Mrs. Mabel
Grove, 1954-55; Mrs. Lucy Hartrich, 1955-56; Mrs. Verma
Elder, 1956-57; Mrs. Grace Ochs, 1957-58; Mrs. Regina
Faltemier, 1958-59; Mrs. Johnnie Moran, 1959-60; Mrs.
Renee Spitzer, 1960-61; Mrs. Lenore Spannagel, 1961-62.
Girls who were sent to Girls State at Jacksonville,
111., by the Auxiliary were Joan Kirts, Sylvia Ann Geltz,
Joan McCormack, Joyce Alblinger, Patsy Reis, Marilyn
Beaver, Nancy Hartrich, Shirley Stone, Marjorie Keller,
Mary Ruth Hartrich, Ann Moran and Celeste Schmidt.
Besides sending a girl to Girls State each year to
learn, the Auxiliary sponsors many worthwhile projects.
They decorate the war veterans' graves on Memorial Day.
They are active in child welfare, care for a boy at Dewey
Cottages, have a clothing drive each year for the under-
privileged children and disaster areas of the United States.
They do many things for war veterans and sell veterans'
crafts each year. They also take part in cancer programs
in the county and have many interesting and informative
speakers through the year.
The Auxiliary is not all work and business. They
have fun as well with Halloween dances, Christmas par-
ties, gift exchange, Legion birthday supper and dance,
potluck supper with entertainment, sings and auctions.
Our membership includes members from West Liber-
ty, Dundas, Willow Hill and the Bend as well as Sainte
Sainte Marie has always had the name of being a
most friendly place and co-operative, too. May the
Auxiliary help to keep it so.
On June 11, 1962, at the regular American Legion
Auxiliary meeting the following officers were elected, for
1962-1963: President, Evelyn Kocher; vice-president,
Betty Ochs; secretary, Renee Spitzer; treasurer, Mary
Hartrich; chaplain, Regina Faltemier; historian, Lenore
Spannagel; sergeant-at-arms, Hilda Dallmier.
Sainte Marie Tribune 1906
(Sainte Mari© Market Corrected Every Thursday)
Wheat per bushel $ .80
Hay per ton 8.00
Corn per bushel — new .34
Oats per bushel .26
Flour per cwt. 2.50
Corn Meal per bushel .60
Potatoes per bushel .80
Onions per bushel .75
Eggs per dozen .13
Sainte Marie, 111.
Sainte Marie, 111.
D. D. HAMILTON
Dealers in Oil Field Scrap,
Structural Pipe and Rods.
Hi-Way 130— South Edge of Newton, 111.
Bus. Phone 130
Res. Phone 445
Breakfast Bacon per lb. .13
Country Lard per lb. .10
Hams, country cured, per lb. .15
Country Bacon per lb. .08
Shoulder per lb. .08
Butter, country, per lb. .16
Butter, creamery, per lb. .30
Chickens — Hens per lb. .09
Turkeys per lb. .13
Turkey Cobblers per lb. .13
Ducks por lb. .07
Rye per bushel .60
Land Worth 200 Times Cost
Sainte Marie is essentially a farming community.
Many of the land owners can trace back for four or five
generations the land belonging to the same family.
Much of this land has increased in value more than
200 times its original prica of $1.25 per acre paid by the
founding fathers. With one son or daughter taking over
the farm, the others would have to look for work or busi-
ness ventures elsewhere. That is one reason why Sainte
Marie hasn't grown in size and so many fine young people
have been lost to the community.
With the older generations continually taking crops
off the land and never putting anything back, yields were
getting to a dangerous low. Then the younger genera-
tion, with their knowledge of limestcne, phosphate and
fertilizers, again brought the land back to its original
fertility. Once again, the farming area looks like, as the
early history books described it, "the fertile prairies of
River Bottom Farm Land Development
The early settlers chose the low bluff along the River,
Embarras (English, one "s") with broad river bottom land
above and below for a settlement of Sainte Marie. A wise
selection, but times changed in the course of 90 years.
The clearing and drainage of land throughout the river
drainage basin brought increased flooding and made much
of the land worthless.
In 1919 interested citizens got together on the prob-
lem of flooding which resulted in the formation of two
drainage and levee districts above and belcw Sainte Marie.
The Captain Pond District was developed under Commis-
sioners Anthony Reis, Ferd Hartrich and Frank Kraus
and the Sainte Marie District under Alex Ritz, Leas
Litzelman and James Kaufmann. The levees served their
purpose for about 40 years, but additional upland drain-
age brought more frequent and higher floods.
The program of the Wabash Valley Association on
flood control became popular. This was a plan by the
Army Engineers to construct reservoirs upstream to im-
pound flood waters. In 1959 the Jasper County chapter
of the Wabash Valley Association was formed. The fol-
lowing year brought increasing membership with Eugene
Hartrich as president of the chapter and Merle D. Yost
as director from the county in the Association.
In the course of less than three years the member-
ship of the chapter grew to over 150 and recognition was
secured in Congress on flood control. The Army En-
gineers, in co-operation with the State Department of
Waterways, have completed a total water resource survey
of the basin.
So little has been written in this history about the
rine Protestant people who lived here and helped to make
our community grow, that I am most happy to add this
In January of 1961 I received a letter from Mrs.
LeRoy Harris of Wakeman, O. She had learned through
the grapevine system of the history of Sainte Marie being
written. Mrs. Harris was interested in genetics, had in
fact traced her family back to 1635 when they first came
to America. She was looking for something about her
grandfather, Zenas Bradish, "good or bad". This much
In 1861 a family by the name of Zenas Bradish came
by covered wagon from Wakeman, O., to Illinois, crossed
the Wabash River at Vincennes. Ind., then came on to
S'ainte Marie. Mr. Bradish was a carpenter, a shingle
and shake maker. He also was a preacher. The Bradish
family bought land south of Sainte Marie and when the
railroad went through it was west of the railroad track.
Zenas Bradish *.lso preached at a little church called
Bethel Church, which was one-half mile west of the Eber-
hardt Hatchery corner. Mrs. Bradish's sister and her
husband came with them. They were Dr. William Nicker-
son, his wife and family. Dr. Nickerson practiced medi-
cine in and around Sainte Marie. He also was one of our
Civil War veterans.
Rrthel Church is no more, but the little cemetery is
still there. A few head stones still tell you of the burial
place of Zenas Bradish, his wife and two sons, Dr. Nicker-
son, his wife and two sons resting in peace there sur-
rounded by green pasture-land.
Mrs. Elmore Buss of Dundas, 111., is also a grand-
daughter of Zenas Bradish. Edward Buss, father of
Elmore Buss of Dundas, also was a carpenter. He helped
to build the Catholic Church in Sainte Marie in 1891, and
many other houses and churches in the county. We are
happy to include this bit of history in the History of
One of the oldest buildings in town was the Geltz
Hotel. It was across the street from the old post office.
It stood squarely in the street corner not wasting a bit
of ground either north and south or east and west.
Who built it is not known, but Mr. and Mrs. Frank
Geltz remodeled it into a hotel. Everyone who came to
town for- a few days or overnight stayed at the Geltz
Hotel. Mr. Geltz also kept a livery stable here and the
drummers (salesmen) would put up their horses there.
On a trip to Mexico City one evening we stopped at a
little mountain inn. After dinner, a band of little Mexi-
can boys entertained us, singing and playing their guitars
and we talked with a businessman and his wife from St.
Louis. He was delighted to hear we were from Sainte
Marie, 111. As a young man he used to make this town
to take orders from the stores, and he always stopped at
the Geltz Hotel.
What a character "mine host" was!
His good wife had sent him to the store to get some-
thing. Arriving there he had forgotten what it was.
"Here, Frank, have a cigar," the storekeeper said to him.
"It will help you to remember."
St. Mary's Church
Here 52 Years
This is a beautiful winter scene showing St. Mary's
Church of the Assumption in Sainte Marie.
Pioneer Sainte Marie Couple
Pioneer Joseph Picquel and his wife. Mrs. Caroline Picquet.
Father Peter J. Virnich
served St. Mary of the
Assumption Parish as priest
from Oct. 27, 1881, until the
summer of 1934.
Civil War Officer
.r'»: ; '«'S
This is a photo of Col.
.J. .1. Killer of Sainte Marie.
a veteran of the Civil War.
The Most Rev. William A.
O'Connor, D. D., Eishop of
the Diocese of Springfield-
This is Father Stephen
Theodore Badin, pioneer
priest in this area, who also
was the first priest ordained
in the U. S. A. He was
ordained by Anhbishop Car-
roll, who was a cousin of
("ha lies Carroll, a signer of
the Declaration of Independ-
"Oh, yes, I know what my old lady wanted, it was
cabbage," he recalled.
The businessman went on to say "Never have I eaten
such cooking-. Those chicken and dumplings, and that
apple pie that Mrs. Geltz used to make, I'll never forget".
Just lately we learned Mrs. Geltz was presented with
an aluminum teakettle, an unheard of utensil at that time,
for being the best cook in Jasper County.
In the year 1906 an oil company came into Sainte
Marie Township and drilled three prospecting or wildcat
i wells; one was on the S. F. Laugel farm south of town,
i one on the David Spitzer farm north of town, and one on
I the Peter Yager farm in the Eend, just above the Yager
1 Bridge. None of these wells showed oil prospects, and all
1 were plugged.
Down through the years at different times oil com-
I panies came in, drilled a few wells, then left; but in the
I fall of 1941, there came into the township an oil pros-
I pector, William Krcne. lie got together a plot of leases
j in the Embarras River bottoms. These had originally
I been under lease to the "Denver Producing and Refinnig
I Co.", but they had given them up.
Bill Krone being something of a gambler, or perhaps
I he had some inside information, put down a wildcat well
| on the Clarence Wade Farm. As a general rule where
| there is so much on top of the ground there is little below,
I but here was fine farm ground where a man could grow
I 100 bushels of corn per acre, if he farmed it properly. One
I farmer, in fact, had such a fine field of clover that he re-
j fused to let the oil company in to drill a well, even after
\ the oil field's presence had been proved.
Luck was with Bill Krone, for in November, 1941,
| the discovery well, Wade No. 1, came in with a bang, pro-
j ducing 800 barrels of oil the first day. "Joy was in the
I Duggan household" that night, as the Irish would say.
Those closely connected with the well stayed up all night,
talking, playing cards, telling stories.
About midnight the crowd got hungry and Clarence
routed Mrs. Wade out of bed (she didn't believe in such
goings-on) asked her to get a couple of fat pullets from
the hen house and make chicken and dumplings. Being
the good soul she was, Mrs. Wade went to work. The
feasting went on until morning. The discovery well,
Wade No. 1 leveled off to 500 barrels per day and it is
still a producing well.
Of course, this set off a feverish activity in the Em-
barras bottoms. Offsets were immediately demanded, and
for some time oil was the main topic of conversation.
There were 21 producing wells drilled in this field in a
very short time. On Wade there were 2, on Kraus 5, Reis
3, Burton 3, Derler 1, John Ochs 2, Zuber 1, Shryock 1,
A. C. Bolander 1, Benefiel 1, Yost 1.
After 21 years several of the wells are still producing.
but the oil fever moved a few miles west into Pond Grove.
Zenitas drilled one on Harding, one on J. Reis, one on
J. Barthelme, two on Zuber, one on Noah Bahl, two on
Weiscope and one on Ederer.
Mansfield drilled two on Menke, one on Valbert, one
on B. Ochs, one on Hahn, one on Copper and one on Boehl.
After reading the History of Sainte Marie of 1957, a
young teacher, Sister Francis Xavier, Saint Theresa's
Academy, Decatur, 111., formerly Eugenia Pictor, wrote
me: "All the little humorous stories intrigued me. I
teach history to a class of seventh graders and all amus-
ing incidents help to make history more interesting." So
we will add a few here.
Our mother often talked to us of her youth, on days
when the old "Ambraw" was on the rampage and wo
couldn't get from the old brick house to town and school.
One story we laughed over many times was:
Our mother, her older brother, and two younger sis-
ters were invited by the grapevine system to a dance in
Pond Grove. They lived on the Prairie and it was five
miles to the dance, so they walked to it, knowing full well
they would ciance all night, walk home, then follow the
reaper, shocking wheat all the next day. But they went
anyway! Now in those days, when you gave a dance,
you simply cleared the furniture out of one room, not a
big job because there wasn't much, got yourself a fiddler,
and you were in business. At midnight they paused for
refreshments, which in this case was a jug of hard cider
and Schnitz (dried apple) pie.
Al, one of the hosts, cosied up to one of the girls and
confided "Me and Jake sure need a woman around here;
we tried and tried but our Schnitz pies are a total failure."
Dancing in the home back in the 1875's or 80's was
a favorite pasttime. One young girl making a new print
dress which was wonderful, considering most of their
(h esses were woolsey linsey, a heavy thick material, but
not getting it finished in time, simply basted the sleeves
in. At the dance the boys swung her with such vigor
they pulled the sleeves out of her dress.
Her granddaughter, telling the story, remarked
"What would happen to me if I came home with my
sleeves pulled out of my dress ?
Another incident that tells a silent story of pioneer
Grandfather Valbert had a pair of huge oxen which
he called Buck and Berry. They were faithful, plodding
beasts, but when the heat and flies got too much for
them, they would head for the deep slough or Captain
Pond, whichever they happened to be near, plunge in, plow
and all. There was no moving them until they were
cooled off and ready to come out. Aggravating as this
was, they never got a thrashing; somehow grandfather
The younger generations of those old French pioneers
are as energetic as their ancestors. In 1928 J. J. Hartrich
purchased the S. F. Laugel farm. It had formerly been
part of the Jacques Picquet estate. Here they grew fine
cattle and hogs.
With several boys growing up, this was not enough,
they needed more to do. So on Nov. 17, 1952, they pur-
chased the Robards grocery in Sainte Marie. This turned
into a flourishing business, and to have fresh pork and
beef for their customers, they did their own butchering.
This gradually expanded to custom work, then to pro-
Their hickory smoked hams and bacon are famous for
miles around. Hartrich's grocery co-operated with the
Swine Herd Improvement Association and on Nov. 3, 1957,
they helped sponsor a lean pork demonstration. Mrs.
Priest for Both Parishes . . . Other People You Knov,
Upper left photo shows, left to right, Basil Ikemire, trustee of St. Valentine Church in the Bend, Rev. Fr.
George Windsor, pastor now serving St. Valentine Church as well as . C U. Mary of the Assumption Church in Saintc
Marie, and Elmer Kocher, also a trustee of St. Valentine's.
Upper right photo, Don Spitzcr, immediate past commander of American Legion Post n.T2 in Sainte Marie,
and Mrs. Leonora Spannagel, immediate past president of the post's Auxiliary.
Lower left photo, Frank Zuber, left, and II. T. Kirts, trustees of Saint Mary's Church.
Lower right photo, members of the Mother's Helpers Ml club of 19G2.
Hazel Taylor of Effingham, 111., was the demonstrator.
This attracted visitors to the Parish Hall from as far as
50 miles away.
Each summer, the Jasper County Swine Herd Im-
provement Association has part of its field day at the
Hartrich Processing Plant to demonstrate different types
The Association's lean type pork is world-renowned.
Each year Hartrich's Processing Plant purchases some of
the Jasper County 4-H clubs' prize-winning beef to pro-
cess for that famous Saint Mary's Church Picnic dinner
held each Labor Day; together this attracts visitors from
hundreds of miles away.
On March 28, 19G2, Hartrich Grocery purchased the
Ed Rohr Grocery Store in Newton. Here, too, is an out-
let for their processed beef and pork. May it continue to
The older generation did not only get together for
threshing, wood sawing and silo filling, but the fall butch-
ering was an annual affair. At this time several neigh-
borhood families got together for this work.
Daylight saw a huge fire under an iron kettle heating
water in preparation for the day's work.
By evening there were baskets of link sausages, fine
hams and bacon cooling in the smoke house.
The next day was a very busy day for the homemaker
too. Liver sausage; blood sausage, the Germans called it,
the French blood pudding, head cheese, scrapple and
pickled pigs feet to make. The blood sausage was a little
like limburger cheese, you had to learn to eat and like it.
Here, too, the people made light work of it all by 'n
extra good dinner with maybe a jug of cider or wine on
Sometimes the crowd would stay for supper and work
late, finishing the day by playing cards and doing a lot
More old time happenings; July saw the ripening of
wild blackberries. It was customary fcr folks to pick and
can gallons of the berries. With a rich pie crust, plenty
of sugar, a bit of fresh churned butter, and no where will
you find a finer dessert than fresh berry pie. Apples too
were dried for "Sennits" pies in the winter, peaches from
the orchard were canned by the baskets. Plums, grapes,
watermelons and gooseberries wore worked up into jams
and jellies. Even the wild plums did not go to waste.
Soap making too was in order. Some of the older
grandmothers could make fine white soap from off-falls
of the fatty part of the meat. Some scented it with win-
tergreen, some with mint or lavender, but all of it could
put as fine a white wash on the line as any modern
Sainte Marie was also a great place for large fam-
ilies. Being a farming community there was so little for
the young people to do with the exception of the ones who
inherited the land, that many young people had to go out
into the world to make their way and of course were lost
to the population of their home town.
But they love to come back, especially over Labor
Day week-end when the annual church picnic is held.
We must mention two large families in passing. The
Joseph and Magdaline Spitzer family came here in 1848
and they had 12 children. The Ochs family, John and
Mary Ann Weiler, had 12 children. Both families number
more than 500 members.
Sainte Marie has also been a quite peaceful place to
live and grow old in. A number have lived more than 90
years and a great many more than 85. Mrs. Rhode Fore,
Civil War nurse, was 102, Joseph Picquet 96, Mrs. Jose-
phine Bolander 98, Mrs. Matilda Dunham 96, Mrs. Mary
Huber 97, Miss Mary Bolander 94, Theodore Hahn 97, Mrs.
Monica Hartrich 94, Jacob Bolander 91, Michael Bolander
93, Theodore Hahn 97, and Victoria Hahn 92. Mrs. Jose-
phine Zuber is 90, and Mrs. Louise Reis, a former resident,
Three Couples Married Over 60 Years
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Menke — 60.
Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Bolander — 62.
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Foley — 65.
Ole Swimming Hole
One of the joys of youths in summer time in Sainte
Marie was going swimming in the river. After long hot
days in June, July and August the gang of boys in town
would hike over to the river.
In later years they would get together in someone's
old truck and hie themselves away to the old swimming
hole north and east of town. This favorite spot was called
"leven foot", meaning it was 11 feet deep.
More than one youngster proved to the gang he
wasn't "chicken" or too young to run with the pack by
diving off the spring board into "leven foot".
With the new inventions of bath tubs and swimming
pools, no more do gangs of youngsters have the joyous
fun of swimming in the river in the raw.
Many people have wondered these many years what
ever happened to the two Orr girls, Barbara and Francis,
who came with the first pioneering group to Sainte Marie.
They were seamstresses and were supposed to do all the
sewing for the little colony, even tailoring the men's
Once they had arrived, no more mention was made
of them in the history at any time.
Several years ago, which would make the time 120
years later, I attended a meeting of the Jasper County
Garden Club. The roll call was an "Antique Possession."
Mis. Mildred Jansen of Newton stunned us all when
she held up a pair of gold hoop earrings, worn so fine,
she wore them on a chain like a necklace. Mrs.
Jansen was saying they had been given to her by her
grandmother, Mrs. Henry Raef, and she had received
them from one of the Orr girls, who had come to the
United States of America with the Picquet Colonists.
A hundred and twenty years later, another young
woman proudly worn the gold hoop earrings.
Sainte Marie township being primarily a farming
community, threshing time was an extra busy time.
Much wheat and oats were grown here. Before farm-
ing was mechanized, horses were used to pull the reaper
that cut and bound the grain. It was then put into shocks
of 12 to 15 bundles. Horse drawn wagons were used to
gather up the shocked bundles and hauled to the home-
stead where they were stacked into ricks. There was an
Four Scenes to Treasure
Top left, view of a peaceful Embarras River eastward from the bridge in Sainte Marie; top right, steel
highway bridge across the Embarras in Sainte Marie; lower left, Sainte Marie Volunteer Fire Department and
truck, with Paul Hartrich and Lawrence Huber on the runing board, and Ed Stone, Bernard Huff, Lawrence Hart-
rich, Leonard Sheridan, Harold Hartrich, Paul Faltemier, Ronald Kirts, Dick Hunzinger, fire chief, Merece Gowin
and Larry Kirts standing in the back; lower right, photo of painting of Joseph Petar Huber homestead — note that
what appeals to be a flowering bush in left center is a peacock with spread feathers.
art to this. Few men could make a good looking rick
that would stand staunchly, not taking in rain, until the
threshing machine was in the neighborhood.
Wheat straw, as well as oat straw, is hard and smooth
when ripe and a man had to know just how to stack the
bundles to keep the rick from sliding in all directions.
Here it was left to sweat or cure for several weeks.
The farmers were usually formed into threshing
rings, perhaps 12 to 15 men, then with a few visiting rela-
tives they had their crew.
If a farmer had a good threshing of, say 800 or 900
bushels of wheat, and as much of oats, he was supposed
to treat the crew to a keg of cold beer.
This was, of course, when the work was all done.
Much fun we.:t on with all this. There was a lot of good
nalured teasing and joshing.
The women folk were counted in on all this fun. Each
tried to outdo the other in putting the best fried chicken
or apple pie on the table.
The men, smarties that they were, bragged on each
honiemaker's food. That was always good for a second
or third helping of chicken and dumplings and his iced
tea glass being filled oftener. It was a lot of hard work.
The men not only took dinner with you, but many stayed
■ But all of this is now a thing of the past. Combines
cut and thresh the gran in one operation, pouring the
grain into waiting trucks, and in a matter of minutes, the
crop is on its way to the elevators and in a matter cf
hours into railroad cars and on its way to the city, where
it is made into flour.
No more are there bulging granaries, where a man
and his family can run their hands through the golden
grain which they all had a part in growing.
At the end of a harvest season there is only a check,
some times a small one at that, after the cost of lime-
stone, phosphate and fertilizer has been taken out, to show
for a whole year's work. It would seem much of the old
time joy of farming is missing in this modern day and
Corn, too, is an important crop in Sainte Marie Town-
ship. The greater part of the land around Sainte Marie
is some of those 12, COO acres the founding fathers bought
for $1.25 per acre.
Some of this land, especially in the Embarras River
bottoms, has increased 200 to 250 times its original price.
Of course, the timber has had to be cleared and removed.
Levee tax as well as state and local taxes paid for more
than 100 years, it needed to raise that much in price.
To farm "new ground", as land was called that still
had many of the stumps in it, took the patience of Job.
New ground was no place for any kind of farming ma-
chinery, except an old style walking plow, and a patient
old team. But it paid off once the obstructions were re-
moved, for the land is rich river bottom soil. A farmer
farming this land right can grow anything that grows
out of doors.
Around the turn of the Century, soybeans were little
known in this part of the state. Then scientists discov-
ered new uses for soybeans and almost immediately they
became a quick cash crop.
Soybeans are planted around corn planting time, per-
haps a little later, and by the middle of September beans
are ready to be harvested. Long lines of trucks, trailers
and wagons patiently wait their turn to unload at Hart-
rich's elevators. When railroad cars are unavailable on
the I. C. R. R. at Boos, some wait all night to get un-
Harvesting soybeans is almost a whole family project.
Even the women are called on to drive loaded trucks to
the elevators while the farmer himself continues to oper-
ate the combine.
If left too long in the field, the bean pods tend to dry
out, causing the beans to pop out and become lost to the
harvest. Soybeans are a good rotation crop when grown
on rich river bottom land. They grow a huge bean stalk,
while on poorer soil they set on more beans, making them
an ideal crop for prairie soil.
Soybeans in Sainte Marie township have helped to
build finer homesteads and make life a lot easier and
more pleasurable for folks living here.
Another old time feature that our younger genera-
iron know nothing about was the pack peddler. The
stores that kept fine things were few and far between,
and these old Pack Peddlers would carry in their packs,
silks, linen and laces, and likes of which country-folks had
The silk was cut in what they called one dress pattern
and never will I ever forget one green and orchid change-
able silk one old peddler had. His name was Macklntyre
and he usually made his rounds in the spring. Our folks
were always glad to see him. He was company from the
outside, (meaning cities which we had never seen, only
The dictionary says a huckster is a vender of small
articles but the huckster we knew had a lot of things
besides small articles. He had a huckster wagon, usually
drawn by two good horses. The bed of the wagon was
boxed in and made into compartments. Here were kept
everything from peppermint stick candy to huge sacks of
sugar, beans, coffee, salt and rice. The lower- 18 inches
of the wagon-box were slatted to hold the poultry which
the farm wives traded for supplies. On top of all were
several egg cases, where the eggs were kept after they
It was said that one huckster, who shall be nameless
because he has been gathered to his fathers, having im-
bibed too much, simply poured the eggs from the basket
into the case. "So much easier," he said.
The end gate of the wagon let down and made a sort
of shelf and here the huckster did a thriving business in
the bolts of calico, muslin and gingham, buttons and
thread which he could pull out to show and sell.
Hucksters had regular runs on regular days, and
always had a certain place to stop, feed and rest their
horses, and get dinner, the meal now called lunch. The
home-maker always had an extra good dinner that day,
for she always took out 50c worth in trade for it. I re-
member as a very small child, there was one who came
to the old brick house from Willow Hill. Friday was the
Girl Bait 1916 Style
All dressed up in their Sunday best back in 1916 were Eugene Litzelman, left, and George Adams, when both of
these well known citizens were single and "available." This classic photo, incidentally, is the property of Charlene
Six Views From 1914 Penny Postcard
Top row: Left, the old railroad depot and tracks; center, Saint Mary's Church; right, a view of the Embarras
Bottom row: Reft, the bank and post office; center, interior view of St. Mary's Church; right, the old creamery.
'I'll, postcard bearing these classic views was mailed in L93 l for lc. It is the property of Charlene Bolander.
day he came and mother always had home-made egg
noodles with a sour-cream sauce, home-made bread, fresh
churned butter, supplemented with fresh garden vegeta-
bles, all topped off with either baked apple dumplings or
rough and ready peach pie. How that old bachelor huck-
ster did enjoy his noon-time meal; no wonder they called
Hop Vines and Yeast
That home-made bread was made from hop-yeast.
Grandfather always kept a few hop poles where the vines
climbed in the orchard, alongside a few stands of bees.
When the hops were dried, they were picked. Little round
fluffy seed balls, they were stored in a sack, hung up
in the kitchen until needed . To make the yeast, two
cups full were put into a bowl, scalding hot water was
poured over it, then the greenish juice was left to cool.
It was then mixed with corn meal, rolled out, cut into
squares, and put into a warm place to dry. When dry,
it was stored in a box. Mother always made a whole
winter's supply each fall. It was as much a ritual as
making soap and preparing the winter's supply of meat;
almost every neighbor' who came to call carried off a
couple square cakes of yeast wrapped in brown paper,
in her pocket.
This yeast made the most fragrant bread. We chil-
dren coming home from school in cold weather would
slice up a whole loaf still warm from the oven, lather
it with fresh churned butter, top it off with currant jelly.
Food for the gods, no less!
Young people reading this must wonder "How old is
the author of this history anyway to remember these old-
time happenings". Well, first I have a good memory,
second I'm old enough to be the mother of the "mayor of
So you know I'm not from yesterday.
Fishing and Hunting
The fishing is still good around Sainte Marie, but the
hunting has fallen off to a marked degree. Once, almost
every man owned a gun and could go out in the hunting
season and get a bag of game; prairie chickens, quail,
/abbits or squirrels. In our grandparents' days, deer and
wild turkey were plentiful. Wild fowl are still with us
occasionally as in this story sent The Newton Press in
"We have been having some visitors from the fly-
ways these last few days. The Hamilton Marsh northeast
of Sainte Marie of perhaps 200 acres, has been flooded by
the recent rise of the Embarras River, and thousands of
wild geese and ducks have stopped over on their way to
the southland, are having a picnic there these last 10 days
"Sitting on the hill and looking out over the Marsh,
with its weeds, willows and rushes, and except for the
murmur of the feeding wild fowl, you can scarcely believe
there are thousands of wild geese and ducks out there,
and the water is alive with fishes. The whole south end
is taken over by the ducks, pintail, mallards, shovellers
and blue wing-tail. The center belongs undisputedly to
the snow geese, while the whole north end has been taken
over by the black Canadian honkers.
All is quiet. Suddenly, some hoarse voiced old gander
sends out a ringing call, and the geese begin to rise. Fifty,
a hundred, five hundred, a thousand, and through the
deafening clamor you can hear the high shrill cry of the
Brants, the quack, quack, quack of the disturbed ducks,
the deeper honk of the Black Canadians and as the sun
glints on the shimmering white feathers of the snow
geese, they sail majestically out of sight, into some farm-
er's corn, wheat or bean field.
Perhaps in an hour they are back, sailing and circling
aloft, each time a little lower, until they are reasonably
sure it's safe to come down. Then down they come, some
with orange feet leading, and with a splash and a few
crackles settle on the water, others sliding down, first
one wing leading, then the other, as though they are
'slap-happy' to have so much food to eat and water to
swim and splash in.
On Nov. 4 the gam e law opens. With the first firing
of the hunter's guns, they will be off, seeking a new
refuge, perhaps Reelfoot, or Horseshoe Lake in the south-
ern part of our state.
"We hope they live through many hunting seasons
and come to visit us again. It's been thrilling having
them with us!"
Brick Houses Landmarks
Besides many old frame houses there were in Sainte
Marie Township three brick houses that were outstanding,
each in its own way.
The first to be built was the Jacques Picquet home
in Sainte Marie Village, erected in 1844 and colonial in
design. Built by French people, it followed the design of
the homesteads in the French quarter of New Orleans.
It has now been taken down by the owners, Albert and
Harold Hartrich, to the first floor and is being used as a
garage and workshop.
The second brick house was that of Joseph Petar
Huber. This house was not as old as the Picquet mansion,
but never-the-less six generations of the family slept be-
neath its roof. This homestead was built on the sand
hills east of Sainte Marie, known as the Ridge. At one
time, the road from the Bend led straight west from the
Rennier Bridge, across the Huber farm. There was talk
of building a bridge to cross the Embarras River here,
but it was changed and the bridge was built farther south
and is now known as the Yager bridge.
This house too is being dismantled by the owner,
Frank Keller, a great grandson of the man who built it,
and it will soon be but a memory.
Never will the younger generations appreciate what
work these old pioneers did to make our country the fine
place to live in that it is! At each of these homesteads
the clay was hauled in, mixed in a hand-power mixer,
moulded into bricks, then burned in a home-made brick
kiln. The wood-work, doors, window frames and floors
were trees of walnut, white and red oak, cut down on
forest land they owned, hauled to a sawmill, seasoned,
then planed down to a beautiful finish. How long it took
the others to get their bricks burned and other material
ready is not known, but the Huber house took three and
a half years to make and burn the bricks alone.
Hearth Fir© Dies in Old Huber Home
After Burning Almost 90 Years
The story of the second brick house began as long
ago and far away as 1823 when in Bavaria, Germany, on
Scenes From 1891 and 1943
Three of Today's 4-H Clubs
Top photo shows the Sainte Marie school, church and
rectory in 1891.
Lower photo shows the Mothers Helpers 4-H Club of
1943. Seated in front are Mary Maginn and Pauline
Second ruw kneeling, left to right, are Louise Ochs,
Florence Cunningham, Loretta Kapper, Evelyn Radke-.
Mary Moran, Rosemary Hartrich and Alice Cunningham.
Third row, left to right, are Eugenia Kirts, Mrs. Eve-
lyn Barthelme, assistant leader, Mary Ann Zuber, Patricia
Zuber, Evelyn Maginn, Mrs. Ferdinand Hartrich, leader,
Joan Kirts, Cecelia Zuber, Mary Ellen Spannagel and
These girls carried projects in cooking, sewing and
flower arrangements and won prizes in all at the Jasper
With the exception of Mary Ann Zuber, deceased, all
the other girls shown are now married and some of them
have daughters of their own in 4-H club work.
Top photo, Sainte Marie Chore Boys 4-H Club with
Ted Kocher, Lawrence Helregel and Victor Ochs as
Middle photo, Cloverleaf 4-H Girls in the Bend, 1962.
Bottom photo, Sainte Marie Helpful Little Hands 4-H
Club for 1962, Melba Rose Sheridan and Eufala Bigard
the 25th of January, Joseph Petar Huber was born. As
he grew to manhood and was drawn into the military
training which that country has always maintained to
settle its disputes and fight wars, Joseph Petar Huber
vowed, "Once I can get out of the country, I will shake
the dust of the fatherland from my feet, go to that fine
new country called America, across the sea and never
He came to America in 1853, stayed for awhile with
friends in Philadelphia, Pa., then moved on to Cincinnati,
O. There he was married and lived for 10 years. Still
feeling the urge to come farther west, he and his wife,
Cresence, and their four small sons, Herman, 2, John, 4,
Joseph, 6, and George, 8, loaded their few possessions into
a covered wagon and started west, dossing Illinois on
a snowy Dec. 7 they came to a little village called Sainte
Joseph Petar Huber was a Roman Catholic and had
great devotion to the Virgin Mary. To him it was pro-
phetic to come into a village named Sainte Mary's on the
eve of the Immaculate Conception Feast Dec. 7, so here
they would try to locate. The few settlers welcomed
them. They were always glad to have new people come
in. especially men with families. A man named Fore
offered them free use of a cabin in a wooded area above
the river on the sand hills east of Sainte Marys' called the
"Ridge". They could have it free for the winter if they
would stay, so they accepted Mr. Fore's generosity, moved
into the cabin, lighted a hearth fire that was to burn
brightly for almost 90 years.
The next morning another settler named Shedlebower
came over the hill carrying a sack of provisions on his
shoulder. True, the sack contained only turnips, potatoes
and parsnips, which he had dug from his outdoor pits, but
to the little Huber family they were fresh vegetables.
Such generosity Joseph Petar Huber never forgot. In all
the years he lived, no one ever asked him for help in vain.
The motto by which he lived and taught his sons was
"Give generously, it will return".
By spring, Mr. Huber had taken stock of his sur-
roundings. Here he found great white and red oak tim-
ber to build a house, barns and granaries, rich river bot-
tom-land to grow corn, rolling hills to grow wheat, wood
pastures to fatten cattle and hogs, and never failing
springs flowing from out the sand hills. True, trees had
to be cut and stumps cleared away before the land could
be turned with a plough, but Joseph Petar Huber had
great strength and faith, a fine family to work for and
a lifetime in which to do the work.
When that little boy of two was four, the cabin was
bursting at the seams with so much little-boy energy in-
side, so the family decided to build a log house. It was
to be a real house, 15 feet wide and 25 feet long, two rooms
below and one above, a huge fireplace at one end, and
broad walnut stairway leading to the upper room.
Now, they were all set for happiness, but their hap-
piness was shortlived for the first winter in the new log
house the mother in the home died, leaving the father
with four small sons to care for, a living to make and in
a country where he hadn't as yet mastered the language.
It was a sad time for him, but his great faith and kind
neighbors saw him through. When that little boy of 2
was 14, they decided to build a brick house. Some of the
neighbors laughed when they heard Mr. Huber and his
boys planned to make and burn the bricks themselves, but
they did make them, digging the clay from che river bank,
mixing it in a hand-powered mixer.
They moulded the bricks painstakingly and burned
them in a kiln which may still be found on the hill today.
Many crooked and twisted bricks yet to be found there
give mute evidence of how many bricks were spoiled be-
fore they finally had enough to do the job. It took three
and one-half years before they had enough bricks to build
their house. Their house was of two "L" shaped sections,
55 feet long and 40 feet wide, two and a half stories high,
with a huge chimney at each end. The walls were 18
inches thick and some of the rooms 18 or 20 feet square
with 10 V 2 foot ceilings.
Two huge halls ran through the house, and the curved
stair-rail that led from the lower to the upper rooms still
bears the axe marks showing how crude were the tools
they had to work with. The beautiful stair-way is now
worn to a satin smoothness by the many hands which have
grasped it. Window sills, like the door steps and the arch
above each door and window, were made of sandstone dug
from the river bed and shaped to fit. They are in as good
condition today as when they were put into place.
The huge wine cellar, too, was a work of art with its
arched ceiling of brick and no visrble supports whatever.
There were no fireplaces in the new home. Franklin
stoves were just coming into the country. These stoves,
made of cast iron and burning huge sticks of hickory
wood, were installed.
About this time a railroad was being built through
Sainte Marie. Joseph Petar Huber, like so many of his
neighbors, was ever willing to further the good of the
community, put aside his own work, and helped for days
to set ties and lay the heavy rails, all without pay. A new
brick Church was planned and built in Sainte Mary's. He
had little to give, but he could work, and this he did, until
the Church was finished.
Years passed, George and John left home to seek their
fortunes elsewhere. That little boy Of two was now a
grown man. In 1883, he married Mary Josephine Valbert.
Now the third generation was growing up, and the old
house rang with childish laughter. There were 11 people
around the dining table, and the farm grew larger each
year. In 1910, Joseph Petar Huber became ill and as his
"boys" stood anxiously around his bed, on a cold De*c. 7
evening, he told them it was time to "Go forth". His
dreams had all come true, he could die happy in the
knowledge that what started out with a loaned cabin was
now a well-stocked farm of several hundred acres which
his sons could take over.
Years passed, that little boy of two was now a grand-
father. He, too, grew old and tired. In 1916 he passed
away and handed the old homestead to the third genera-
tion, and the fourth was growing up. It was like old
times. Again there were 11 people around the dining
table. Another gang of youngsters looked for wild flow-
ers and mushrooms in the wood pastures, picked berries,
gathered nuts in the fall and rowed the boats on the river.
More years passed. Now the fourth generation took
over and the fifth was growing up. The sixth visited at
the old homestead one summer. As the fifth generation
grew toward high school it became increasingly difficult
to get them to school.
A modern home on a gravel road with a school bus
stopping in front of the door was to be had, so the fourth
and fifth generations moved away, leaving the old home-
House Prominent in Sainte Marie History
This is the old home of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Picquet, Sainte Marie pioneers. This photo
was difficult to print to the printer's desired standards because the engraving had to be made
from a previously published picture and not from the original.
stead alone and desolate. Now the wind whistles through
the empty barns and granaries, sighs mournfully through
age-loosened door and window casements, across empty
rooms where so many happy people have lived. The old
brick house looks with bare un-curtained windows out
across the river, the hearth fire started in a cabin almost
90 years ago has died out. As the snow drifts down on
it this next cold Dec. 7 evening, laying a mantle of white
on the buildings, the old Huber homestead will seem to
Its days of usefulness are done.
Mound Builders and Indians
The first people who inhabited this part of Illinois
were the mound builders. Just what their tribal name
was is not known. In the extreme southwest part of
Sainte Marie Township is a huge mound. Longer than
wide, many say it is a formation of nature rather than a
mound built by people.
In the Book "Plains, Indiana" published by National
Geographic Magazine, I found a paragraph where it de-
scribes Indian Mounds as some being longer than wide or
Many years ago, some of the early settlers built a
tower on the mound and placed a telescope in it. Here
you could climb up possibly 50 feet, then looking about
one could see for miles in all directions.
Many broken bits of pottery, arrow heads and other
Indian relics have been found on and about the Mound by
farmers clearing the land and otherwise farming it.
There were many Indians in this part of Illinois, the
Illini, Miami, Kickapoo, Potawatomi, Sauk and Fox after
the white man came. They were friendly Indians too that
came each fall to hunt for the abundance of game in the
Embarras bottoms and to trap for furs.
At a set time, fur traders from Vincennes would come
to buy the peltry from the Indians. The Trading Post was
on Dedication Hill and the early settlers were always in-
terested spectators. Being farmers and interested in
building homesteads they did not trap fur-bearing ani-
mals, no matter what the price paid for them. They
hunted for food, and unless it was a predatory animal,
for all they cared, the wild things could run free.
Some of the Indian relics found around Sainte Marie
Township have been put together on a bulletin board by
E. C. Alblinger and can be seen at the Sanite Marie State
Axe heads, drills, skinning knives, pounding stones or
grinding stones used to grind their grain, round balls no
doubt used in playing games, arrow heads large and small
have been found. Some are large ones used with bow and
arrow to shoot wild turkey, geese and ducks, others are
smaller for game like rabbit, quail and prairie chicken,
all beautifully made and very sharp.
Indian Burial Grounds
Here, too, in Sainte Marie Township, Indian burial
grounds came to light many years after the Indians were
disbanded and gone. Some went farther west, others took
up residence in reservations like Fork Wayne in Indiana.
One such burial ground was found on Grandfather Huber's
farm. We children were born and grew up on this farm
i in a huge old red brick house. It was east of Sainte Marie
across the Embarras River on a series of sand hills that
began a few miles below Willow Hill and ended a few
miles below Sainte Marie on the bend of the river.
Here on these sand hills beneath the huge forest
trees, their tepees had some protection. With an abun-
dance of game, and the river full of fishes, it was an
Indian paradise indeed. Here Grandfather, father and my
brother Lawrence were putting in a line fence, so that
the older cattle could drink at the river and the younger
stock water at the barns, and all could run in the woods
pasture. In digging a post-hole with a post digger, they
brought up a hard object. After scraping away the sand
and dirt, they found it to be a human jaw-bone. The bone
was large and coarse, the teeth worn down as though the
owner had done some hard, tough chewing. Grandfather
feared a murder had been committed on his farm, but our
brother, being young and more venturesome, said, "Let's
see what more is down there Grandpa".
The second digger-full brought to light part of a skull
with reddish hair still clinging to it. This did not solve
the mystery so they dug again, and this time several
Indian beads were in the sand. Then they knew they had
accidentally dug into an Indian burial ground. Looking
about them they .could see they were on a sandy, high
knoll and a series of mounds circled about the top of each
of the mounds, no doubt a burial place. Of course the
story got out and on Sunday following the authorities
came from Sainte Marie.
"Didn't Mr. Huber know it was against the law to
dig into burial grounds without a permit?" Grandfather
explained it had been an accident. "Just where are these
Indian relics?" That gave one the idea it was curiosity
that brought them, rather than the wish to uphold the
Again Grandfather explained how, after the family
had looked at the object and the children wondered and
talked about the people who roved these hills before them,
he had returned the objects to where he had found them,
covered them over, and left the Indian dead rest in peace.
Old Justice of Peace Books 1867
In an old Justice of the Peace book, found at the town
hall, there were many interesting cases with names no
longer in Sainte Marie. Under the date of July 25, 1875,
was this entry:
Now comes Addison Fulton — files complaint for one
sheep damaged by dogs unknown. Randsom Graham and
Haddock Graham, after hearing evidence, it was allowed
Addison Fulton was entitled to $3.00 for loss of said sheep.
— Michael Kratzmeyer J. P.
June 11, 1881:
Now comes Minnie Love and complains that the Dan-
ville, Olney and Ohio River Railroad Company failed to
pay her a certain demand, being a board bill, of a man
employed by said company, and expressly agreed to pay
said board bill. The bill was $150.00, paid. — Francis Alt-
hause J. P.
May 3, 1893:
Now comes Mary Lowisa Gass, makes and files her
complaint under oath, charging William Donham with
making threat to do her bodily harm with a deadly
weapon. The defendant, failing to pay his fine, was
committed to the Village Calaboose, to work out his fine
on the village street under the supervision of the street
commissioner.— Eugene Hartrich J. P.
The Sainte Marie of 1962
Across the top, AJblinger & Kirts Hardware and Alblinger & Kirts Garage. On the left, second from top,
Sainte Marie State Bank; on the right of the bank, Town Hall. Third row, left, Hartrich Bros. Elevator, and right,
Hartrich Bros Mill, bottom row, left, Bob Swisher's Marathon Service Station, and right, Ed Barthelme's Sons
Oct. 1, 1891:
Now comes Minnie Leggett — Makes and files a com-
plaint under oath that her neighbor Noah Deffendefer
stole one hive of bees, worth $1.00. — Wm. Pictor J. P.
Chattel Mortgages contained in the old books intrigue
Dec. 30, 1893:
Chattel Mortgage made by Mrs. Lily Russel in favor
of Edward Latson, to secure the payment of one prom-
isary note of even date, for $125.00 with 7 per cent inter-
est from date until paid. One gray mare, 12 years old,
called Kate, one bay horse, 10 years old, called Prince, one
yearling colt, called Frank, one muley cow, one Stude-
baker wagon, one Deering mowing machine. The Mort-
gagor to retain possession of said property mortgaged
until payment be made. Acknowledged before me by
Mrs. Russel and entered this 30th day of Dec, 1893. —
Eugene Hartrich J. P.
May 3, 1891:
Now comes William Wenz, makes and files affidavit
for writ in attachment against Noah Fairfield, the follow-
ing goods and chattel worth $19.65: One team of mules,
soon to be 8 years old. This trial to be held 8th day of
May, 1891, at 9:00 o'clock A. M. Neither party appear-
ing, it is considered by this court as case dismissed. —
Francis Althaus, J. P.
In so many of the chattel mortgages, the people lost
their belongings. In reading over these records, I often
wondered how they could make a living after their horses,
mules, cows and machinery were taken away from them.
In looking through these old Justice of the Peace books,
I marvelled at the fine hand-writing, page after page, as
many as 75 to 100 pages without one blot, mistake, or
misspelled word. Some of it was written so long ago no
doubt they used quill pens. The finest was written by
Francis Althaus, William Pictor and E. J. Gangloff.
From Sainte Marie Tribune Jan. 13, 1905
Pond Grove News
Who thought Pond Grove was dead?
Plenty of snow and ice. Tuesday morning the ther-
mometer said it was the coldest weather we've had this
Sammy Sterchi has built a new addition to his mill-
shed. Sammy has a big new engine, 21 horse power, and
a good set of hands. He will now make the business pay.
Bits and Pieces
D. L. Stewart advertises he pays the highest prices
for poultry, eggs, butter, hides, beeswax and tallow.
Walter and Henry Picquet have the thanks of the
community for cleaning off the streets with their new
snow plough during this last snow storm.
In the Jan. 13 issue of Sainte Marie Tribune we find
this choice item:
"If the gentleman who stole my small-pox vest out
of my coal-shed will please return same, I will vaccinate
him free of charge in order to protect the community." —
Dr. W. A. Wenz.
"Mrs. W. A. Wenz purchased the three white Wyan-
dotte chickens which drew the first prize, at the Rich-
land County Fair."
Xavier Picquet Mansion
(Written at the Time the Old Mansion Was Taken Down)
There is always a sadness in seeing an old landmark
being torn down, especially when it is an old home.
Such is the case of the Xavier Picquet home in Sainte
Marie, where the present owners, Jerome Hartrich and
sons Albert and Harold, are tearing down the old Picquet
Built in 1839 by Jacques Picquet, father of Joseph
Xavier and James Jr., the old mansion is of French
Colonial design. Many homes similar to it may still be
seen in the old French quarters of New Orleans, La.
Beams Still Solid
The three story house measured 50x60 ft. with ceil-
ings 12 ft. high. Huge beams 12 in. square run the full
length of the house and are pinned at the crosses with
wooden pegs, all of white oak, for which Sainte Marie
Township is justly famous, and all hewed by hand.
Despite their age of 111 years the beams and pegs
are as solid today as the day they were put into place.
Oak lathes, too, were hewed by hand, and the plaster
in between is a mixture of clay and straw.
Bricks used in building the home were fashioned by
hand and burned in a kiln not far from the homestead.
Great fireplaces in every room gave one an idea of
the manner in which the house was heated.
After seeing the blackened fireplace in th e kitchen
one can envision the many tasty roasts that found their
way to the table.
Three stairways: The one in the front, a beautiful
curved stairway, one in the rear, and one outside which
ied to the upper floors. A hall way 10 ft. wide ran the
full length of the house, ran through the center of the
dwelling opening onto a balcony with huge pillars of
sandstone topped with walnut columns 24 inches thick.
Although weather beaten, they are as solid as the day
they were put in place.
In the library on the second floor, doors and shelves
are of solid native walnut, and the walls and cupboards
24 inches deep all made of walnut and reaching from floor
to ceiling. The walnut paneled doors leading from the
hall way into the living room and library are 6x9 feet in
They were made in France for the convent of Saint
Mary's of the Woods in Indiana, but came by mistake to
Sainte Marie. The task of getting them to their destina-
tion by ox teams was so great, the Picquets' purchased
them and installed them in the mansion.
For several years the entire Picquet family lived in
this house. In 1850 Joseph Picquet left for France to
marry Rosine Muller. When he returned with his bride
he built a beautiful home of his own just two blocks north
of the old family home. Many years later this home was
given to the Sisters of Charity, Springfield, 111. When they
gave it up, it went to the S. C. J. Priests of the Sacred
Returning from the Civil War with the rank of lieu-
tenant, Xavier Picquet married Elizabeth Hartrich. In
1867 he fell heir to the old homestead. It was he who
raised his family. In 1933 Jerome Hartrich purchased the
mansion and restored much of its old glamor. The prob-
lem of making a modern home of it was too great, how-
ever, and after a few years, the days of the old mansion
were numbered: Jerome Hartrich built a new home near
the mansion. After surviving 111 years of gracious living
A Building and People You Know
Left row of photos: Top, U. S. Post Office in Sainte Marie, dedicated in 1961; center, servers with Rev. Fr.
George Windsor, pastor of St. Mary's Church of the Assumption; bottom photo, left to right, Mrs. Monica Geiger,
Joe N. Yost and Mrs. Shirley (Stone) Kraus, members of the committee of St. Valentine Church in the Bend
named to help with arrangements for the Quasquicentennial celebration.
Right row of photos: Top, Children's Choir of St. Mary's Church with Sister M. Ruthanne, O. B.; center
photo, Sainte Marie School staff, front row. left to right. Sister Marie, Sister M. Valeria and Sister M. Ruthanne,
back row, left to right. Mrs. Melba Rose Sheridan, secertary. Mrs. Maxine Hartrich, nurse, Vincent Keller, Mrs.
W. E. (Helen Baker and Henry Kirts; bottom photo, School Hand, of which Mrs. Genevieve Wilson of Newton is
the old French colonial mansion was reduced to dust and
rubble. Harold Hartrich and his family now live in the
new house built to replace the old Picquet Mansion.
Sainte Marie Bank Serves Wide Area
The late Severine F. Laugel started a financial move-
ment in Sainte Marie more than 57 years ago that led to
what is now the Sainte Marie State Bank, an institution
which serves an area far wider than its immediate locale.
On April 26, 1905, Louis Huss, D. P. Ochs, Frank L.
Merceret, Severine Laugel, Arthur Pictor, Joseph Picquet,
A. J. Litzelman, Anselm Spitzer, J. M. Miller, William
Reis, F. E. Kraus, Charles Litzelman, C. P. Harmon, P. C.
Berns, Joseph Kaufmann, F. W. Kuechler, W. A. Wenz,
William F. Mason, S. P. Berns, Jacob Rennier and Charles
Barthelme formed a partnership to conduct a general
banking business under the name oi the Bank of Sainte
The business commenced on June 12, 1905, in the two-
room, metal clad building north of Hartrich's Grocery
with Frank L. Merceret as cashier.
Total resources on June 30, 1905, were $17,024.29.
The quarters now occupied by the bank were built in
On Dec. 14, 1920, the Bank of Sainte Marie was
granted a charter by the State of Illinois to operate as a
state bank, and the name was changed to Sainte Marie
Total assets on June 30, 1962, were $2,383,084.69.
Early day advertisements of the bank carried the
slogan: "If you have money, we want it; if you want
money, we have it."
This was designed to show the two-fold purpose of
the bank: 1, to provide a safe place for people to deposit
their funds, and, 2, to furnish a place where they could
borrow money for worthwhile purposes.
Today's slogan is, "The bank where a depositor never
. lost a dollar."
Ed Barthelme, who served the bank as president for
many years, died in 1957. Present officers are:
President, E. C. Alblinger; vice-president, Merle D.
Yost; cashier, Mary Jean Ping; assistant cashier, James
S. Geltz, and teller, Mrs. Geneva Swortfiger.
Directors besides Mr. Alblinger and Mr. Yost are Mrs.
Mildred Alblinger and Mrs. Edna Laugel Peters.
Robbed in 1920
One of the highlights in the history of the bank came
j at 11:15 a. m. Wednesday, July 21, 1920, when three men
held up Cashier Irenis C. Barthelme and Gus Richards, the
latter a customer who entered while the robbery was in
The bandits took all the cash and paper resources of
the bank except 78c. The loot amounted to $39,982.98,
and all but 6c of the total was recovered.
All three bandits and their accomplices were captured.
The late J. A. Eaton Sr. was sheriff at the time, and
Paul Girhard was his deputy. Deputy U. S. Marshal
William Pippin and City Marshal Dan Miller also were
given special mention for their work on the case. W. E.
: Lsley was state's attorney.
A large number of private citizens were used in the
formation of a posse to capture the final bandit.
Germans Join French; Remember Band?
As the years passed in the history of Sainte Marie
more settlers came in, many of them Germans.
It was odd how French and German people could not
get along as neighbors in the Old World, but in the U. S.
they could live side by side, work together for community,
church and school without friction. It seemed that the
very air was charged with peace and good will.
As a rule, where you find a dozen or more Germans
you will find a little German band. Such a band was or-
ganized in Sainte Marie. They played music for church
picnics, socials and suppers and wedding parties. As a
member grew older and winded, a younger man would
step into his place. So it went for years.
As a very small child I remember Grandfather Huber
would invite the Little Band over to the old Brick house
for a Sunday afternoon concert. They would play out in
the yard under the shade trees. Grandpa kept time with
his foot, a far away look in his eyes as though he was
remembering some happy time in his youth, back in the
After a few numbers like the Blue Danube and Vien-
nese Waltz, Grandpa would pass a pitcher of home made
wine or cider for refreshments. Then the band would play
again. It always seemed that the second half of the con-
cert had more "oompah" than the first.
Toward evening the band boys would gather up their
instruments and music, go trooping down the hill, cross
the Embarras River in the skiff and go marching up the
river road, keeping time to the big bass drum beaten by
Drum Major Richard Pictor.
Industries and Fishing in Area
In about the year 1910, there were so many herds of
fine dairy cattle around the community that the farmers
decided to build a creamery in Sainte Marie. This they
did, hired Val C. Weurth of Sauk City, Wis., as butter
maker with S. O. Alblinger as assistant. This went on
for years, bringing thousands of dollars to the people
around the town.
The creamery burned to the ground in 1915 and was
In 1937 the Libby Canning Co. put a tomato station
in town. This, too, was on the Xavier Picquet estate.
J. J. Hartrich was manager. Although the plant only
operated for a few years, the tomatoes grown were as
fine as could be found anywhere and brought thousands
of dollars into the community.
In 1922 the people in and around Sainte Marie, grow-
ing tired of the embarrassing way the river had of rising
so fast and furiously, decided to levee the river bottoms
and save their precious crops. This, of course, was a tre-
mendous undertaking. Crawford and Callihan, dragline
contractors, were contracted.
Above Sainte Marie it was the Sainte Marie Drainage
District. James Kaufmann, Joseph Clark and Alex Ritz
were district commissioners.
Below Sainte Marie it was the Captain Pond District,
with Anthony Reis, William Houser and A. C. Bolander
The levees have been broken by floods. The break in
June, 1957, was the worst of all.
Scenes From Today and the Past
Left row: Top, Beautiful Sacred Heart Mission House, center, the rectory of St. Mary's Parish, bottom,
Sainte Marie School; right row, top, St. Mary's Parish Hall, center, the old sawmill of A. C. Bolander in Sainte
Marie, and bottom, the old Kraus Distillery in tne Bend, destroyed by fire in August, 1901. The distillery was built
in about 1890 by F. E. Kraus and George Dovel. They made and sold bonded liquor. Mash left after the liquor was
distilled was fed to the cattle.
Sainte Marie Once Had Hospital
In 1911 and 1912 Joseph Picquet and his daughter,
Miss Marie, built a new brick house just east of the old
one. The Sisters of St. Francis, a nursing order from
Springfield, 111., were looking for a place in the country.
Mr. Picquet donated his old home and a plot of ground
to this order. They proceeded to build a two-story, 15-
roora addition to it.
Kan Four Years
The sisters cared for patients in the hospital and also
did some home nursing. I he hospital was known as "Home
of Holy Name of Mary."
sister Sabastina was the superior, and bister Urbana
was head nurse, 'ihe hospital began operations in 1913
I but because of poor roads, making it hard to get patients
to and from the hospital, the sisters gave it up in 1917.
1 he house was vacant for awhile, but not lor long.
The Sacred Heart Missionaries from Germany were
seeking a place for the novitiate in the North American
province. Through a long and devious correspondence,
Father P. J. Virnich, then pastor of St. Mary's church,
: heard about it. He cordially invited them to come to
! Sainte Marie, went with them to Springfield to see Bishop
Griffin and ask his permission to enter this diocese.
It was graciously given and on March 19, 1925, Father
i Fohromann took possession of the house which had been
the home of the founder of Sainte Marie, Joseph Picquet.
Soon afterward the Sisters of St. Francis deeded the prop-
erty to the Sacred Heart Missions.
Now they had the first foundation of their order in
the North American province. In 1925 Father Fohroman,
the pioneer of the province, came to Sainte Marie to stay.
They continued to clean, clear and to build till now it is
one of the most beautiful monasteries in the state of
The highlight of their foundation here in Sainte Marie
is the building of a beautiful new chapel. At the bless-
ing of the chapel Bishop Griffin called it, "An unique
temple, a gem, in our province."
Mr. Picquet, who lived only a few months in his beau-
tiful new home, has long since passed away. Mrs. Char-
lotte Ftudd, a granddaughter, gave the lovely home to the
Sacred Heart Mission.
Dr. Leon J. Willien
Joseph Picquet made eight trips back to France and
on his third trip back to the United States, there accom-
panied him a young widow, Mrs. Leon Willien, and her
four-year-old son Leon. Mrs. Willien was a sister of the
first Ferdinand and Theodore Hartrich in Sainte Marie.
They settled at Sainte Marie, Jasper County, 111.
Leon J. Willien was born Oct. 8, 1840, in Alsace-Lor-
raine, France, son of a noted physician and professor in
the University of Strassburg. His early education was
under the instructions of a French tutor. He married
Mary Fleming. Their children were: Dr. W. F. Willien,
Leon, Mrs. Helen O'Mara, Mrs. Gertrude Reiman and
Dr. Willien studied at St. Louis Medical College in
St. Louis, Mo., then spent three years at the University
of Strassburg, graduating from that famous school of
surgery in 1864. H e practiced in Jasper county and
Effingham, Illinois, until he went to Terre Haute in 1872.
He was a founder of St. Anthony Hospital Medical Staff
in 1882 in Terre Haute and a pioneer abdominal surgeon
of the Wabash Valley. His office was at Seventh and
Chestnut streets in Terr e Haute. He died June 17, 1919,
after a year's illness.
He was a member of the Vigo County Medical Society
in 1874; was president of the Indiana State Medical So-
ciety in 1881; was a member of the American Medical
Association, the Aesculapian Society, a Fellow of the
American College of Surgeons in 1913. He was physician
to St. Mary of the Woods College for 35 years, a Catholic
and a Democrat.
Dr. Willien published six books on medicine. One
was the earliest ever published by a Vigo County, Indiana,
doctor. His income was large but he was so generous
with his family that in his old age he was forced to con-
tinue in general practice to make a livelihood, not that he
desired otherwise, for he was untiring in his devotion to
the practice of medicine. In stature he was short and of
a quick, nervous temperament. He discussed medical
subjects ably, fluently and in perfect English but with a
pronounced Alsatian accent. He was noted for his devo-
tion to professional ethics, in December, 1887, he report-
ed to the Vigo County Medical Society concerning his
extensive visits to hospitals in Europe.
Like all busy people Dr. Willien needed an occasional
vacation. He dearly loved to come back to Sainte Marie
to tramp the woods and prairie fields hunting for deer,
wild turkey, grouse, quail and prairie chickens. He was
often heard to remark that he didn't know which he en-
joyed the most, tramping the woods and fields in the
fresh air, or sitting down to a table loaded with good
country food and fruits of the hunt, in the homes of his
relatives and friends in Sainte Marie.
Dr. Willien's mother returned to Sainte Marie in her
old age and made her home with the Sisters of St. Joseph,
who kept aged patients as well as orphan children, in the
budding that was later used as a school.
History of Sainte Marie Paper
A newspaper was established in Sainte Marie by Otis
Stanley of Newton in 1900. Called the Sainte Marie
Tribune, it was published Friday of each week and the
subscription price was $1 per year.
In the Jan. 9, 1903, issue, we noticed an advertisement
of Charles Bar the! me, general merchandise, offering boy's
no-rip shoes for $1.25 per pair, also A. A. Strutner's ad:
"Cool beer. Your jug trade solicited."
S. F. Stanley advised yen "Don't Go Hungry. While
in Newton Stop at Stanley's restaurant for a good hot
meal, including soup, price 20c, north of Cox's saloon."
In the Nov. 11, 1904, Tribune was an advertisement
of the C. H. and D. railroad, "Two through trains to St.
Louis Weald's Fair, landing you and your baggage at the
Spitzer and Litzelman, implement dealers, advised
the public they had a new shipment of Flint wagons and
scoop boards. In a December, 1910, issue, the Sainte
Marie Dramatic club announced it was putting on a show,
"Pennsylvania Kid," Dec. 31, New Year's Eve, admission
In November, 1911, M. L. Keavin of Newton adver-
The Sainte Marie of 1962
Top left, Tony's Tavern; top right, George's Tavern; second row, left, Gowin's Mill, right, Stone Earth-
moving; third row, left, Michl Garage, right, Hoffman's Barber Shop; bottom row, left, Kocher Implement Co.,
right, American Legion Home, Post 932, first home owned by a post in Jasper county.
tised a sale of Amoskeag gingham at 4%c per yard and
hope muslin, 10c and 12c values, at 6%c per yard. Men's
odd pants, peg top, were offered at $1.90 per pair.
In 1904 A. F. Alblinger, age 17, who had been type-
setter for Otis Stanley, took over the Tribune with J. J.
Rider as typesetter and continued to publish the little
newspaper, recording the births, deaths, goings and com-
ings, good news and bad news of th e little community.
In 1905 the paper was moved to the building where
the old post office was, and the Bell telephone company
put in their switchboard in one room while the paper was
printed in the other. This continued for several years.
In 1917 when World War I was raging, August F.
Alblinger was one of the first young men from Jasper
county called to the Army. The Tribune was discontinued
and is now only history.
Sainte Marie has been served for years by The New-
ton Press, a twice-a-week newspaper published in the
county seat, and since Dec. 23, 1959, by The Newton Press-
Mentor, the county's only newspaper.
Swine Testing Station Spreads Fame
Sainte Marie's latest claim to fame is an institution
which actually has brought fame to all of Jasper county.
This is the feed and carcass swine testing station
operated for the past eight years by the Jasper County
Swine Herd Improvement Association on the Andrew
Sheridan farm at the west edge of the village along Route
Mr. Sheridan serves as herdsman for the association
and has won the confidence and respect of all concerned
with the station.
The station operates under all the strict rules and
regulations of the Illinois Swine Improvement Association,
and the facts and figures compiled and thoroughly checked
each year provide the irrefutable evidence which put Jas-
per county at the top of the modern pork production
A field day is held each year at the close of the test-
ing station period. Part of this field day is held at the
station itself. The group of interested persons also goes
to the Ha.rtrich meat processing plant to check the car-
casses of hogs which have been slaughtered.
Low Grade Hogs Scarce
It is interesting to note that leaders of the association
always have found plenty of home-grown Jasper county
hogs to grade No. 1, but to get a low grade hog to use
for comparisons they have frequently had to go all the
way to another county!
(Editor's Note: The name of the other county is
omitted to avoid embarrassment to those fanners who
haven't had tender-lean pork production preached to them
by The Newton Press-Mentor for 10 or 12 years.)
Stores' Role in Life of Sainte Marie
At one time there were four general merchandise
stores on the square in Sainte Marie, those of Joseph Lein-
hart, Pictor Bros., Charles Barthelme and I. Kolb.
This Barthelme store was first operated by Francis
Schneider, then was taken over by Charles Barthelme in
1895. Nowhere else could you get such a bag of candy for
5c as at Barthelme's store.
Retires in 1914
Mr. Barthelme retired in 1914 and his younger bro-
ther, Ed, took over the business. For 42 years Ed Bar-
thelme was busy waiting on customers and making
friends. In 1946 the store burned to the ground.
Before the ashes were cold, another building across
the street, owned by Mr. Barthelme, was open, a new stock
installed, and again he was in business. It is now known
as "Ed Barthelme's Sons." Gilbert and Francis (Gil and
Bud) Barthelme took over the Barthelme store in Febru-
The other three stores have long been gone.
A number of new stores were started, flourished for
awhile, then went out of business.
Meat Processing Plant
Hartrich Brothers, Albert and Harold, bought out the
Robards Bros, grocery store and started a meat process-
ing plant. Their hickory smoked hams and sausages are
known for miles around. Their meat processing plant is
also on the Xavier Picquet place.
Albert and Harold Hartrich are great grandsons of
one of the first pioneers, Theodore Hartrich.
There are still taverns in town where you can get a
cool beer, but the jug trade is obsolete.
There is a barber shop where you can get a good hair
cut, as well as two beauty parlors.
Interesting Bits of History
The church at Sainte Marie was named Assumption
at first, later changed to St. Mary's.
* * *
In about 1907 C. E. Lamoth built a grain elevator near
the C. H. & D. railroad. Cars could be loaded right from
the elevator. It was an important business in its day. In
about 1912 it burned to the ground and was not replaced.
* * *
Miss Georgiana Spitzer, now Mrs. G. C. Brown, was
organist at the church for almost 40 years.
* * *
Mrs. Bernadette Zuber was president of the Mother's
Club when the hot lunch program was started in the
school in Sainte Marie in 1947.
* * *
Many small businesses, such as drug stores, restaur-
ants, meat markets and cream stations, dress and millin-
ery shops were started through the years, flourished for
awhile, then went out of business.
* * *
A new steel bridge was built across the river in 1919.
H. T. Kirts was the first commander of Legion Post
932 in Sainte Marie.
* * *
Mrs. Clare Hartrich was the first president of Ameri-
can Legion Auxiliary in Sainte Marie.
People You Know in Today's Sainte Marie
Top left photo shows the past church committee chairmen, left to right, Mrs. Ferdinand Hartrich, Mrs. Mil-
dred Helregel, Mrs. Angela Hahn, Mrs. Bernadette Reis, Mrs. Bertha Ritz, Mrs. Ann Sheridan, Mrs. Geraldine
Gowin, Mrs. Charlene Bolander, Mrs. Helen Radke and the present chairman, Mrs. Celeste Keller.
Top right photo shows the Quasquicentennial officers, left to right, James Geltz, treasurer, Mrs. E. C.
Alblinger, secretary, Mrs. Ferdinand Hartrich, general chairman, and Paul Faltemier, assistant chairman.
Lower left photo shows the Mothers Club and Altar Society officers, left to right, Mrs. Mildred Helregel,
Dorothy Kaufmann, Viola Litzelman, Rose Schwartz, Dorothy Huber and Johnnie Moran.
Lower right photo shows the Home Bureau Day Unit, left to right, Mary Jean Ping, Johnny Moran, Eufala
Bigard, Mrs. Ferdinand Hartrich, Charlene Bolander, Bernadette Reis and Ann Sheridan.
Our Fine Modern Post Office
Sainte Marie's fine modern post office was formally
dedicated Sunday, Oct. 15, 1961.
The U. S. Postal Department has given mail service
to Sainte Marie for over 124 years, with an established
Post Office for 123 years.
Since the establishment of the first Post Office here
in 1839, the location has been changed five times, but this
is the first time new quarters have been furnished.
Records show that the first mail to be delivered in
Sainte Marie was contracted Oct. 17, 1837, to William
Barrick. According to the contract, mail was carried
from Lawrenceville, 111., (via Stringtown) Sainte Marie,
Newton, Greenup and Campbell to Coles court house, a
distance of 73 miles and back, once a week; the salary
$365 per year. The mode of transportation, at first, as
were other mail contracts, at that time in Illinois, was by
horseback, later by stage and wagon, also by boat up the
The first official Post Office in Sainte Marie was
established Nov. 23, 1838, with Joseph Picquet as post-
master. He served for 16 years.
From Nov. 23, 1838, the name of Saint Marie was
official, but on June 20, 1892, th e spelling of the name
was changed to Sainte Marie, the French settlers request-
ing it have the French spelling.
Since the establishment of the Post Office in Sainte
Marie in 1838, there have been 11 postmasters, four hav-
ing served at different intervals by reappointment. Fol-
lowing is the list of the postmasters and the date of
Joseph Picquet — Nov. 23, 1838; Joseph Schifferstein—
April 18, 1854; Cornelius Crowley — Jan. 27, 1864; Joseph
Schneider— Oct. 19, I860; Cornelius Crowley — Jan. 25,
1871; Joseph Schneider — Feb. 7, 1871; Cornelius Crowley
—May 7, 1872; Mary Crowley- March 10, 1874; Mathias
Laugel— Nov. 13, 1874; Joseph Schneider — Nov. 13, 1876;
John J. Rider — Sept. 23, 1885; Xavier Picquet — May 26,
1889; John J. Rider— May 3, 1893; Xavier Picquet — May
8, 1897; Ruth Picquet— March 15, 1898; Josephine Lamotte
—July 20, 1914, and Lena (Alblinger) Kirts-^Iuly 5, 1918,
The office was 4th class from 1838 to July 1, 1930,
when it was changed to Presidential classification, later
relegated to 4th. In 1944, because of the increased volume
of mail, it was raised to third class, which is its present
Since C. H. & D. railroad was discontinued in 1919,
the mail service has been through Star Route carriers.
Clerks who have served in the Post Office are:
Eloise Barthelme from Sept. 12, 1932, to Jan. 31, 1946.
Eugenia Kirts, March 1, 1946, to Aug. 16, 1947.
Geneva Shedlebower, Aug. 21 to Oct. 18, 1947.
Mary Moran, Nov. 10, 1947, to Oct. 1, 1949.
Averil Keller, Nov. 1, 1949, to date.
The new building is 25 x 41 ft. with a rear loading
ramp of concrete 21 x 17 ft., some 10 inches high. A
crushed rock driveway leads to the rear. The exterior
of the building is of Norman brick.
Large panels of glass enhance the front as does the
planter filled with colorful flowers. A two-tone color
scheme is intensified by 12 double tube fluorescent lights.
Temperature control is available with an automatic gas
furnace and a. 2y 2 ton air-conditioner.
Ample hot water is available. Th e floor covering is
vinyl floor tile.
Building contractors were Albert Russell, George
Russell and T. V. Michl. The building is owned by John
Alblinger and leased to the Post Office Department.
Personnel of the Post Office moved into the new
building Oct. 1, 1961. Few were the pieces of equipment
moved from the old quarters to the new as the Post Office
Department has installed all new and modern equipment.
Beloved Sainte Marie Doctor
This is the late Dr. G. C.
Brown, a beloved Sainte
Mario physician for many
Dr. Brown also became
widely known through his
work as superintendent and
physician in state hos-
His widow yet resides in
Home Bureau was first organized in Jasper county in
1945. The home adviser came from Effingham to hold
meetings in Jasper.
Two years later Jasper hired a home adviser of its
own, and a number of new units were formed. At present
there are 20 units, each sponsoring a 4-H Club.
There are three Home Bureau units in Sainte Marie
Township: Home Sainte Marie Day, Sainte Marie night,
and Bend unit. Home Bureau has added much to the
lives of the homemakets in Sainte Marie Township.
History of Our 4-H Clubs
4-H Clubs for Girls
The first 4-H Club in Sainte Marie was organized by
the late Mrs. Merle D. Yost in 1929, at the time she and
her family lived here. The leaders were Mrs. G. C. Brown
and Miss Elizabeth Picquet, (now Mrs. A. C. Bolander).
There were 10 members, and now they are grand-
mothers with grandchildren in 4-H. Down through the
years there have been many clubs and leaders. Leaders
that are and were outstanding ar e Mrs. Elmer Kocher, 11
years as leader, Mrs. Winifred Michl, 9 years, and Miss
Christine Alblinger, 7 years. Miss Alblinger is a teacher
at Newton Community High school.
Other leaders of the 4-H clubs are Mrs. Frank Zuber,
Miss Agnes Pictor, Miss Frances Hann, Miss Eugenia
Kirts, Mrs. Maym e Hartrich, Mrs. Frances Barthelme,
Mrs. Marcella Menke, Mrs. Eufala Bigard, Mrs. Dorothy
Huber, Miss Sylvia Geltz, Miss Joyce Alblinger, Mrs. Mar-
tha Stone, Mrs. Geraldine Gowin, Mrs. Emma Cameron,
The Sainte Marie of 1962
Top row: Left, American Legion Post 932, Memorial service May 30, 1962, in Saint Mary's cemetery, and
right, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Bigard, garbed in the manner stylish for the Quasquicentennial celebration; center
row, left, St. Valentine Church in the Bend, Precinct 2 of Sainte Marie Township; and right, Mr. and Mrs. Dick
Hunzinger and family, all decked out in proper array for the Quasquicentennial; bottom row, left, the Rennier
homestead in the Bend, and right, modern parish hall of St. Valentine Church in the Bend.
Mrs. Celeste Keller, Mrs. Mildred Schmidt, Mrs. Renee
Spitzer, Mrs. Ada Mae Moran, Mrs. Maxine Hartrich, Mrs.
Marcella Menke, Miss Shirley Stone, Mrs. Melba Rose
Sheridan and Mrs. Marcella Strutner.
Officers of the Helpful Little Hands 4-H Club in 1962
are as follow: President, Judy Litzelman; vice-president,
Carol Swisher; secretaiy, Kay Barthelme; treasurer, Bon-
Requirements of the Helpful Little Hands 4-H Club
are, to be 10 years of age by July 1, completing a record
book and turning it in to the local leader, giving a talk or
demonstration at some meeting of the local club, and
making an exhibit of the project at a local or county
The 4-H girls' projects are cooking, baking, room im-
provement, sewing, outdoor cooking, and photography for
iy<>Z. Achievement programs included picnics, parties,
special programs where two or more clubs get together
and invite the whole community, barbecues and meals
cooked and seived by the 4-H ciub to their parents and
There are 33 girls in the Helpful Little Hands 4-H
Club for 1962. Twenty-three of them are taking a sewing
project, 'ihe first year sewing project is called "You
Learn to Sew ', in which they make a simple gathered
skirt. The main object is to learn to use the sewing
machine. Ihe following years their project is titled "You
Make Your Own Cluthes". If the girls stay in 4-H three
to four years they may go from simple sewing to tailoring.
Cooking classes are made up of the following proj-
ects: "You Learn to Bake", "It's Fun to Cook", "Meat
in Your Meals ', "Adventures in Cooking", "Pastry in
Your Meals", "Yeast Breads" and "A B C's of Cooking".
Other projects in our club consist of "Flower Arrang-
ing" and "Candle Making". There are 10 girls in these
Under usual circumstances the girls are allowed to
take as many projects as they can properly handle. Due
to the great number of girls in this club (the largest club
in Jasper county) the girls were restricted to as many
projects as they had years in club work. For instance
girls who had four years in club work were allowed four
The Helpful Little Hands have Mrs. Melba Rose Sher-
idan as their leader and assisting in sewing classes are
Mrs. Bernita Barthelme and Mrs. Marcella Strutner.
Miss Carolyn Swope, our Jasper county home adviser,
remarked to the author just recently while talking about
4-H, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could get together
the 4-H Alumni of Jasper County?" And indeed it would.
Boys' 4-H Clubs
The boys' 4-H Clubs in Sainte Marie don't date back
as far as the girls', nevertheless they have been doing
some very good work and their leaders, past and present,
are to be commended for the time and patience they have
expended on the 4-H clubs.
Officers of the Chore Boys are: President, Anthony
Reis; vice-president, Ed Kaufmann; secretary-treasurer,
Florent Ochs; assistant secretary, Eddie Faltemier; re-
porter, Eddie Reis. Projects covered this year are: Crops,
Swine, Photography and Dog Care. Through the gen-
erosity of Sainte Marie Legion Post 932, the 4-H Chore
Boys have always held their meetings there.
This year's 4-H leaders are Theodore Kocher, Law-
rence Helregel and Vic Ochs. Past Sainte Marie Chore
Boys 4-H Club leaders have been Kenneth Stone, Louis
Ochs, Norbert Ochs, Robert Helregel, Norton Reis, Rich-
ard Ochs, Ted Kocher, Victor Ochs and Harold Harris.
4-Leai Clover Girls 4-H Club
This year leaders of the 4-Leaf Clover Girls are
Audrey Ikemire, leader for two years, and Mrs. Winifred
Michl, leader for 11 years.
Officers are: President, Mary Ellen Kraus; vice-
president, Mickey Tracy; secretary, Tamra Ikemire;
treasurer, Brenda Schoff stall; and the other girls are
Brenda Michl, Sandra Seaney, Diana Tracy, Rose Marie
Boehl, Marlene Boehl and Kay Seaney.
Projects are handicraft, table covers for beginners,
you make your own clothes, yeast breads, freezing, flower
arrangement, you learn to bake, adventure in cooking,
you learn to sew and ABC's of foods.
Past leaders have been Mrs. Winifred Michl, Mrs.
John Fisher, Mrs. Shirley Kraus and Mrs. Audrey Ikemire.
The Bend 4-H Club
The adult leaders of The Bend 4-H Club are Noel
Ikemire, John R. Michl and Hamer Stone.
Ihe club officers are: President, John C. Michl; vice-
president, Gregory Iktmire; secretary, Pat Stone; treas-
urer, Ralpn E. Michl; reporter, Jerry A. Michl; recreation
leaders, Pat Stone and Gregory Ikemire.
Projects in the club are Swine, Gardening, Crops,
Entomology and Photography.
Old Homes Represented Happy Families
In writing the history of Sainte Marie township, Pre-
cincts one and two, I've come across some unusual stories.
There are a number of frame houses around here that are
more than 100 years old, but there were three brick
houses, each outstanding in its own way.
They were the Jacques Picquet house in Sainte Marie,
the Joseph Petar Huber house on the sand hills east of
town called the Ridge, and the Rennier homestead above
the Rennier bridge in the Bend.
All three of these houses were built of what is slight-
ingly called, "soft brick." That is, they were made of
native clay and burned in a kiln on the homestead
grounds. But these old houses weathered many storms
and with care could have sheltered several generations
more. But modern home-makers took a dim view of 18x22
feet rooms, with 10 to 12 foot ceilings. They were hard
to clean and heat, so the old homesteads went the way of
so many of our pioneer possessions.
The Rennier homestead was begun by Valentine
Krause in about 1870, but before the old gentleman could
complete his fine house, he died. It is fashioned along the
lines of the huge square brick houses in that very German
city, Cincinnati, O.
It is three stories, and the basement comes out on the
ground level on the south side. One can still faintly smell
the fragrance of the old wine cellar. There are five sunny
rooms on the first floor, all 15 or 18 feet square with 10
foot ceilings, the same number of rooms above, and then
a huge attic. Along the full length of the east side of the
house was a veranda overlooking the garden.
Around 1875 a young German farmer, Jacob Rennier,
came into the Bend. He married Gertrude Krause, foster
daughter and niece of Valentine Krause, and together
Pilgrim Holiness Church
Beaux and Boosters
This is the Pilgrim Holiness Church in Sainte Marie.
Trustees shown are Gerald Sheridan, Mrs. Delia Murphy
and Gordon Sheridan.
Greetings to All at
You've been our friends
since 1949, and we hope
to merit your friendship
for many more years.
DON and IMOGENE LAMSON
These bearded beaux have helped boost preparations
for the Sainte Marie Quasquicentennial.
Shown left to right are:
First row, Dick Hunzinger, I. D. Kocher, Joe Kocher,
Lawrence Huber. Second row, Paul Faltemier, Paul
Hartrich, George Swortfiger, Sam Zuber. Third row,
James Geltz, James Cunningham, Maynard Kocher, "Bud"
Stone. Fourth row, James Schwartz, Gene Bigard, Fran-
cis "Yank" Schmidt and Wilmer "Hoover" Ochs.
Best Wishes From
General Telephone Company
they finished building the brick house Valentine Krause
At first they lived in a log house, but when their third
child, Matilda, was born they moved into the new brick
home. Five generations of one family have slept beneath
this roof. A stozy was told to me the day of the sale of
the household goods.
When the eldest daughter was married there were so
many wedding guejts, the beds piled high with coats,
caps and sleeping babies. Ihe two little Rennier boys,
finding no bed to sleep in, climbed into a huge old walnut
wardrobe and made a bed of quilts they found there.
Morning came and the dance ever, the frantic parents
searched everywhere for the missing pair. They were
stunned to see them come strolling out, Sunday suits all
rumpled, wanting to know what the fuss was all about.
The homestead was a place where whole hams were
put to boil in the wash boiler, mounds of chicken were
fried, great loaves of bread were baked, crocks of butter
were home-churned and sweet cream and great pitchers
of milk came fresh from the spring house.
No need of a super market here for fresh fruit or
The vegetable garden was a thing of beauty, with
long rows of sweet corn, new peas, potatoes, lettuce and
radishes, an asparagus and strawberry bed of long stand-
ing, pyramids of pole beans hanging thick with wax and
lima beans, a sea of cucumber and melon vines, raspberry
canes and grape arbor all bordered about with sweet sum-
Here, too, you found the hop vines and bee hives. The
orchard, too, was a picture. The apple, cherry and peach
trees were well cared for, for a whole season of fruit was
to be had here. Nut trees, too, were here, walnut, hickory,
shell barks and pecans.
With their beeves, porkers, sheep and poultry, these
were the independent and self-sufficient people who helped
to make our country great.
A sale of the Rennier household goods was held.
Standing back in the spring sunshine one could watch
antique buyers with a gleam in their eyes bid in old wal-
nut bedsteads, chests of drawers, spinning wheels, cob-
blers' tools that were used to make wooden shoes, wool
carders, looms for carpet and material, poke jars and wine
jugs. You knew this was the passing of a way of life
that is no more.
Here, too, the wind whistles through the empty barns
and granaries, sighs mournfully through casements across
empty rooms where so many happy people have lived.
It is to be hoped some energetic young farmer and
his family take over the old Rennier homestead and bring
it back tx> life again.
Saint Mary's Cemetery
Saint Mary's cemetery is an interesting and historical
Laid out by the founding fathers, it covers possibly
two acres of ground on a gentle rise at the south end of
i Sainte Marie.
Fine old pine trees shade the well-kept graves. Here
we find tombstones marked Jacques Picquet, born 1791,
and Theodore Hartrich, 1793. On many stone markers
the birth dates are in the early 1800's.
Paul Bogard, flag committeeman of American Legion
Post 932, Sainte Marie, told us in 1957 that there are 24
known Civil War veterans buried there, including such
well known names as those of Col. J. J. Rider, Lieut.
Xavier Picquet and First Sergt. Dan O'Donnel. There are
graves of veterans of the Spanish-American War, World
War I, World War II and the Korean conflict.
Within a space of possibly 100 square feet there are
graves of soldiers of five wars.
In the town cemetery there are bodies of two Civil
In Saint Mary's cemetery, there are the graves of two
priests, rather Laughran, who was assistant to Father
Sandrock, died in 1860, and Father Virnich, who came to
Sainte Marie in 1881 and was the parish priest for more
than 52 years.
Both of these priests asked to be buried with their
Letter From White House
THE WHITE HOUSE
May 16, 1962
Dear Mrs. Hartrich:
Many thanks for your letter to the President concern-
ing the joint observance of the 125th anniversary of your
town of Sainte Marie and Saint Mary's Church.
May I, on the President's behalf, extend warm greet-
ings and best wishes to all who will be gathering for this
notable event. Through the years your town and church
have contributed to the strength and vitality of both the
community and the Nation, and the President is confident
that you will continue to grow in service to God and man.
Ralph A. Dungan,
to the President
Mis. Ferdinand Hartrich
Post Office Box 121
Sainte Marie, Illinois
Friendly letters of congratulations also were received
from Governor Otto Kerner of Illinois and the office of
Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago.
Letter From Father De Palma
Palembang, Sumatra, Indonesia
July 1, 1961
Dear Mrs. Hartrich:
I am pleased to learn that next year Sainte Marie
shall celebrate its 125th birthday and that for the special
anniversary a history of the town shall be published.
Please accept our heartiest congratulations and sincere
wishes for a truly joyful commemoration.
I am particularly pleased to share in your joy because
of the happy relationship which has existed between the
residents of Sainte Marie and vicinity, especially the
members of the Assumption Parish, and our religious com-
munity for over 35 years. Moreover, as local superior of
the Sacred Heart Novitiate I became acquainted with
People You Know in Sainte Marie of 1962
Top left photo shows the entertainment committee, left to right, Pat Moran, Rosemary Mullinax, Bob
Swisher, Freda Swisher, Don Spitzer, Margaret Menacher, Edwin Hahn, Angela Hahn, Ed Ritz and Bertha Ritz.
Top right photo shows the church committee, left to right, Romona Hunzinger, Cathryn Kocher, Bernadette
Zuber, Olivia Sheridan, Gladys Reis, Helen Radke, Celeste Keller, chairman, Mildred Alblinger, treasurer, Serena
Kaufmann, Angela Geltz, Ursula Huff, Geraldine Gowin and Letha Zuber.
Lower left photo shows Holy Name and Knights o f Columbus officers, left to right, Arthur Keller, Ted
Litzelman, Louis Reis, Marion Keller and Eugene Bigard.
Lower right photo show the Sainte Marie Town Board, left to right, Richard Hunzinger, Andrew Sheridan,
Bob Swisher, Ed Stone, Leonard Sheridan, Paul Faltemier and Mayor Lawrence Hartrich.
various members of the Sainte Marie community and,
above all, was privileged to take a small part in the
religious service of the members of the Assumption parish.
Believe me, we have very fond memories of those years
between 1945 and 1952.
I should add that during the above-mentioned years
1 came into closer contact with the mending club — gen-
erous and kind women of the Sainte Marie Parish. It is
certainly good to hear that the Ladies of the Altar Society
have again formed a mending club and continue to meet
at the Sacred Heart Novitiate. We are ever grateful to
them and all others who have been and still are so kind
to our B athers, Brothers, Novices and Postulants. May
the Sacred Heart of Jesus reward all of you in His unique
With cordial greetings to all and an assurance of my
humble prayers for continued success and prosperity in
the Lord, I remain
Very respectfully in Christ,
Joseph De Palma, S.C.J., Sup. Gen.
The Very Rev. Joseph De Palma, S.C.J., who is Su-
perior General over 22 countries, was on a regular visita-
tion to the North Amercian Continent these past three
months. Father De Palma studied as a novitiate at the
Mission in Sainte Marie in about 1925.
On June 19 the ladies of the mending club, who go
each week to do the mending for the 60 or more students
and priests, were invited to a Mass read especially for
them by Father De Palma.
In visiting with the club later, Father De Palma told
them "Of all the countries and cities I've seen, I still like
the S. C. J. home here the best. I hope to end my days in
peaceful Sainte Marie."
The mending club was organized by Miss Marie
Picquet, daughter of Pioneer Joseph Picquet, about 33
years ago. One member, Miss Mary Bolander, attended
every mending day for 25 years without being absent once.
Wabash Valley Association
One of the newer and very important organizations
in this area is the Jasper County Chapter of the Wabash
The organization, formed about four years ago, is
dedicated to work for the total development of the water
resources of the Wabash River Basin, with specific em-
phasis locally on the Embarras River Valley, of which our
area is a vital part.
The Jasper County Chapter is one of the most active
of all the chapters in both Illinois and Indiana. There are
approximately 150 members.
Officers of the chapter are: President, Eugene Hart-
rich; vice-president, Burton Acklin; and secretary, Clete
Jansen. Other directors are Lowell Diel, Glenn Dappert,
Charles Graham, Noel Ikemire, Sheldon Kocher and Louis
Merle D. Yost and R. E. Apple are directors from the
Jasper County Chapter to the Wabash Valley Association.
Mr. Yost also is a member of the Executive Committee of
the W. V. A.
Moore of Newton
and Good Wishes to
Choir Robes, Graduation
My old home town, Sainte Marie, and Saint
Mary's Parish on this their 125th birthday.
Gowns and Women's
Mrs. Olivia Hartrich Litzelman
To all our friends of the old home town
on its 125th anniversary and best
wishes for the years ahead.
Community of Sacred
Gus & Sev Alblinger
Worcester Hardware Co.
Barber and Beauty Supply Co.
601 Whittle Ave.
Hahn Motor Sales
Pontiac — Buick
U. S. Distributorship
Sherman's Dept. Store
511 E. Main Olney, 111.
Van's Maytag Appliances
Goldsmith Paint & Wallpaper
207 E. Main Olney, 111.
Complete Home Decorating Service
LOWELL GOLDSMITH, Owner
Phone EXpress 2-5641
Prescription & Drugs — Gifts
Newton Package Liquor Store
206 S. Van Buren Newton, Illinois
For Your Favorite Beverage
Mike's Ice Cream Parlor ]
'Your Satisfaction Our First Consideration*
228 W. Main St. Olney, 111.
Your Dealer for International Harvester
and Ace Hardware
Dependable Insurance Since 1931
113-115 Whittle Ave Olney, 111.
Zean Gassmann Henry Gassmann
V , * jiffll
Belles of Sainte Marie
Top row, left to right, Celeste Schmidt, Barbara Wagner, Kathy
Go win, Ann Moran.
Center row, left to right, Carolyn Wagner. Rita Fisher, Mary
Ellen Kocher, Glenda Reis.
Bottom row, left to right, Kathy Ritz, Mary Lou Hahn, Sharon
Keller, Mary Ruth Hartrich.
Lower right, Jean Keller.
Hi. ■ ;?*
Ready-To-Wear & Shoes
Where Quality Meets Economy
Tharp's For Shoes
For All The Family
South Side Square
Insurance and Real Estate
Greetings and Good Wishes to Sainte Marie
Saint Mary's Church and Sainte Marie
Township en Their 125th Birthday!
American Legion Auxiliary
W. P. Wheeler & Son
Best Wishes and Happy Birthday to
Sainte Marie, Saint Mary's Parish
and Sainte Marie Township.
Woodmen Accident & Life Co.
HENRY F. HARTRICH,
Greetings and Best Wishes for a Happy
Birthday to Sainte Marie, Saint Mary's
Parish and Sainte Marie Township
on Their 125th Anniversary.
Saint Mary's Mending Club
Poultry & Eggs — Wayne Feeds — Seeds
Phone 12 Newton, 111.
Greetings and Best Wishes to
Sainte Marie, Saint Mary's Church
and Sainte Marie Township.
Mr. and Mrs. Cletus Litzelman
Floor, Cabinet and Wall Coverings
Furniture and Appliances
IN MEMORY OF
Our Beloved Grandfather, Joseph Petar
Huber, Whose Motto in Life Was,
"Give Generously and It Will Return."
HELEN IIUBER SCHACKMANN
MAYME HUBER HARTRICH
JOSEPHINE HUBER ALBLINGER
The Author's Thanks
We come now to the closing chapter of this history of
Sainte Mary's Church, Sainte Marie and Sainte Marie
Township. To you who have read it we hope you have
learned some historical facts you did not know before,
hope you enjoyed our little jokes and stories, hope, too, the
younger generation has a better understanding of the
trials and tribulations of our Pioneer forefathers.
Never will we appreciate all the hardships they en-
dured to clear away the forests, build tillable fields free
of stumps, build fine highways and pleasant homes. There
are discrepancies, of course. Going back over 125 years,
it is not humanly possible to do otherwise.
Our thanks go to Rev. George Windsor for the story
of the priests since Father Peter Virnich, History of the
Saint Mary's Church down to the present day; to J. N.
Yost and Dorthan Reigle of the Bend vicinity for their
invaluable help in tracing names and dates in their
churches, schools and cemeteries.
To all the advertisers, whose financial help made this
To Mrs. Kathryn Hobgood of Evansville, Ind., who
came to my home to type the script I'd written; to Mrs.
Mary Ready for her hours of talk on "olden" times from
which I caught many names and dates; to Kathy Gowin
for typing for me; to Mrs. Charlene Bolander, good friend,
for her help in getting together the names of all our re-
ligious nuns from Sainte Marie, names too, of all our
citizens who lived to be more than 90 years, and the names
of those who weathered the storms of married life for
more than 60 years.
My thanks to everyone who helped with this history
in the smallest way.
It is my sincerest wish that everyone continue to
plant trees, flowers and shrubs around their homes and
farmsteads, and I'll feel amply paid. By doing this we
not only beautify our homes, we beautify our Community,
State and Nation.
"We are part of the early history of the State of Illinois."
Very Sincerely Yours,
Mrs. Ferdinand Hartrich, Historian,
Sainte Marie, Illinois
International Farm Equipment, Frigidaire,
Maytag, Philco, Hardware of All Kinds.
SERVING THIS AREA SINCE 1899
Phones : Hardware 857-3135
The Best In Gas
Phone Ex 2-7721
Liquefied Petroleum Gas For All Purposes
BLUE FLAME GAS CO., INC.
"The Firm that Service Built'
700 W. Main St.
Forsyth Lumber & Coal Co. Inc.
"Everything to Build Anything"
Clark's Monument Shop
C. E. Chapman
Marathon Tank Wagon Distributor
G. E. Franke & Son
International, New Holland,
Paint, Wallpaper and Hardware
Eversman and McCulloch
Phone 243 122 W. Washington Newton
Phone 250 Newton, 111.
B. B. Brummer
Wholesale Distributor of
Candies and Tobaccos
The New Yorker
Complete Line of Beer, Liquors, Wines.
Food: Steak, Chicken, Chops and
Noon Day Lunches.
Berger & Sons
Sainte Marie, 111.
Wieland-Goudy Hardware Co.
Guns and Ammunition
Sherwin-Williams Paints and Varnishes
Fairbanks-Morse Water Systems
Jim's Men's & Boys' Wear
Complete Line of Men's & Boys' Wear
Phone Express 22521
222 E. Main St. Olney, 111.
Musgrove Men's Wear
216 East Main Street
If It Can Be Sold, It Can Be Sold At Auction
Real Estate — Selling — Renting
— Auctioneer —
Office Phone 32969 Res. Phone 51782
Bower's Drug Store
Phone Ex 2-3931 Olney, 111.
WALTER H. FARNEY, R. Pm., P.M.C.
Real Estate and Insurance
Borah & Bolander Lumber Co.
Best Wishes to the Quasquicentennial
Furniture & Rugs
223 E. Main Olney, 111.
Bill Pulliam Insurance
Broker — Your Personal Insurer
•§•»—— Mil— Hill-
Forty-three Years of Service
Awluuf&i & Kpiti
Sainte Marie, Illinois
Hardware and Garage
• Chevrolet Cars and Trucks
• Plumbing, Heating, Electric
Greetings to All Our Friends Everywhere
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Sainte Marie Township
Flagg Funeral Home
Phone 176 Newton, 111.
(Note: The above map of Sainte Marie township is far from up-to-date, but it
should prove interesting to all readers, in the opinion of the editor of this history.)
THE FLAGG FUNERAL HOME
Emergency Ambulance Service
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS-URBANA
HISTORY OF SAINTE MARIE, SAINT MARY'S CH